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Academically strong, geographically diverse freshman class arrives

Union freshman Greg Lewis (left) and his father Frank Lewis check in during new student move-in day Aug. 19, while Union enrollment counselor Amy Brown assists. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)
Union freshman Greg Lewis (left) and his father Frank Lewis check in during new student move-in day Aug. 19, while Union enrollment counselor Amy Brown assists. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)

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JACKSON, Tenn.Aug. 19, 2011 – Eric Leisey of Lititz, Pa., may live a long way from Union University, but he was no stranger to the campus.

His sister Melissa attended Union and is now a graduate student at the university. His brother David is a junior. And on Aug. 19, Eric joined about 500 other freshmen who moved onto the Union campus to begin their collegiate experience. Scores of upperclassmen, faculty and staff were on hand to help the new students unpack their vehicles and get settled into their new home.

“I think the biggest thing was the people,” Leisey said about why he chose Union. “Everybody was nice, everybody was welcoming. That was the nicest thing. I liked that a lot – good, personal contact with people here.”

Another freshman, Morgan Kroeger, also came to Union from quite a distance – Tempe, Ariz. Like Leisey, she said Union’s emphasis on being people-focused (one of the school’s four core values) attracted her.

“I was really looking for a Christian college to attend, because I really want higher education that involves God in my life,” Kroeger said. “When I came to visit, I fell in love not only with the campus, but with the people. Everyone was so nice, and I’ve had a great experience. That did it for me.”

Rich Grimm, Union’s senior vice president for enrollment services, said this was the third straight year for Union to register more than 500 freshmen, and that the class as a whole was exceptionally strong academically. The average ACT score for the incoming class is about 26.

All told, Union welcomed about 650 new traditional undergraduate students to campus.

“It has been our privilege to serve these students and their families as they progressed through the enrollment process,” Grimm said. “We look forward now to watching them assimilate into the Union community, and we anticipate great things as they follow God’s will for their lives. May the Lord be with each of them.”

After moving into their campus apartments, students spent the rest of the day in a variety of orientation activities, such as purchasing textbooks, meeting with financial aid and business office representatives, hearing an introduction from Union President David S. Dockery and meeting with their small Focus groups (Focus is Union's four-day orientation program).

In the evening, the new students and their families gathered in the G.M. Savage Memorial Chapel for a specially-designed worship service. Greg Thornbury, Union’s vice president for spiritual life and dean of the School of Theology and Missions, challenged students to understand the importance of their education in light of Stephen’s comment in his martyrdom speech in Acts 7 that Moses was “instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds.”

Like Moses, Thornbury told the new students they were getting an education to take part of something greater than themselves. He said Union existed to extend the kingdom of God by recovering the great Christian intellectual tradition that has resulted in a flourishing society “in which our leaders can do what fewer and fewer men and women seem willing to do: lead for the sake of the gospel.”

A Union tradition completed the service. Incoming students sat in the middle of the chapel, while parents, returning students and Union faculty and staff encircled them. Dockery then led in prayer for students and their families.

“We are delighted with the quality of the students who have chosen to attend Union University,” Dockery said. “These students are coming to Union from around this region and all across the country because of the distinctive mission, excellent faculty and caring staff of this place. We wish the best for each and every student and trust God’s blessings on their time on this campus.”

 

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8/19/11 - Molly King, senior youth ministry major, greets new students and their families as they come to campus for New Student Move-in.
8/19/11 - Molly King, senior youth ministry major, greets new students and their families as they come to campus for New Student Move-in. - Deanna Santangelo
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8/19/11 - Emily Smith, junior nursing major, helps Ponci Cobb, freshman pre-med major, in filling out registration forms during New Student Move-in.
8/19/11 - Emily Smith, junior nursing major, helps Ponci Cobb, freshman pre-med major, in filling out registration forms during New Student Move-in. - Zac Calvert
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8/19/11 - Bangali Sillah, freshman business major, along with Tim and Patty Purselley, begin registration during New Student Move-in.
8/19/11 - Bangali Sillah, freshman business major, along with Tim and Patty Purselley, begin registration during New Student Move-in. - Zac Calvert
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8/19/11 - Ken Litscher, director of residence life, talks with Matt, freshman biblical studies major, and his parents, Timm and Donna, during New Student Move-in.
8/19/11 - Ken Litscher, director of residence life, talks with Matt, freshman biblical studies major, and his parents, Timm and Donna, during New Student Move-in. - Jacob Moore
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8/19/11 - Ali Jeffries, freshman, talks with Gretchen Endres, freshman nursing major, and her family during registration for New Student Move-in.
8/19/11 - Ali Jeffries, freshman, talks with Gretchen Endres, freshman nursing major, and her family during registration for New Student Move-in. - Jacob Moore
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8/19/11 - Scott Kahler, junior engineering major, and Stefan Rabenhorst, sophomore political science major, helps Jonathan Wunrow, brother of a new freshman, make a name tag.
8/19/11 - Scott Kahler, junior engineering major, and Stefan Rabenhorst, sophomore political science major, helps Jonathan Wunrow, brother of a new freshman, make a name tag. - Deanna Santangelo
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8/19/11 - Robert Fryman, junior business management major, and fellow life group leader, Amelia Krauss, junior journalism major, welcome freshmen onto Union's campus during New Student Move-in.
8/19/11 - Robert Fryman, junior business management major, and fellow life group leader, Amelia Krauss, junior journalism major, welcome freshmen onto Union's campus during New Student Move-in. - Ebbie Davis
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8/19/11 - Freshmen register in the Fred Delay Gymnasium during New Student Move-in.
8/19/11 - Freshmen register in the Fred Delay Gymnasium during New Student Move-in. - Jacob Moore
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8/19/11 - Freshmen register in the Fred Delay Gymnasium during New Student Move-in.
8/19/11 - Freshmen register in the Fred Delay Gymnasium during New Student Move-in. - Jacob Moore
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8/19/11 - John Dawson, senior social work major, and Giley Wright, chemistry stockroom coordinator, help move items into dorms for New Student Move-in.
8/19/11 - John Dawson, senior social work major, and Giley Wright, chemistry stockroom coordinator, help move items into dorms for New Student Move-in. - Deanna Santangelo
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8/19/11 - Buster goofs off with incoming freshman, Janie Barnhart, as she unpacks her car during New Student Move-in.
8/19/11 - Buster goofs off with incoming freshman, Janie Barnhart, as she unpacks her car during New Student Move-in. - Deanna Santangelo
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8/19/11 - Buster the Bulldog takes a break from entertaining to  help incoming students unpack during New Student Move-in.
8/19/11 - Buster the Bulldog takes a break from entertaining to help incoming students unpack during New Student Move-in. - Deanna Santangelo
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8/19/11 - Buster the Bulldog poses with Iris Johnson and TJ Johnson, sophomore computer science major, during a break from helping new students move in.
8/19/11 - Buster the Bulldog poses with Iris Johnson and TJ Johnson, sophomore computer science major, during a break from helping new students move in. - Deanna Santangelo
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8/19/11 - Natalie Stallings, junior elementary education major, helps unpack cars during New Student Move-in.
8/19/11 - Natalie Stallings, junior elementary education major, helps unpack cars during New Student Move-in. - Deanna Santangelo
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8/19/11 - Greg Ryan, visiting assistant professor of political science, helps during New Student Move-in.
8/19/11 - Greg Ryan, visiting assistant professor of political science, helps during New Student Move-in. - Deanna Santangelo
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8/19/11 - Brian Castro, sophomore athletic training major, carries a student's things during New Student Move-in.
8/19/11 - Brian Castro, sophomore athletic training major, carries a student's things during New Student Move-in. - Deanna Santangelo
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8/19/11 - Andy Madison, associate professor of biology, and Michael O'Malley, senior English major, carry items to a room during New Student Move-in.
8/19/11 - Andy Madison, associate professor of biology, and Michael O'Malley, senior English major, carry items to a room during New Student Move-in. - Deanna Santangelo

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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