JACKSON, Tenn. – Sept. 26, 2003 – The Leadership Societies of Union University, representing the institution’s major supporters and donors, were honored Sept. 25 at the 2003 Red Carpet Banquet. Donors were treated to an evening of dinner, expressions of appreciation and musical selections from Proclamation, the university’s auditioned singing ensemble.
Society members were welcomed to the gala event by Robert Alsobrook, senior vice president for institutional advancement. Alsobrook thanked members for “sharing so generously with Union University.”
Several individuals were inducted into the Twenty-First Century Society, recognizing cumulative gifts of $100,000 or more. Among those inducted were Dr. and Mrs. David S. Dockery, president of Union University.
Mr. and Mrs. Ben Fesmire Jr. and Terri F. Sadler were recognized as 2002-03 President’s Academy members.
Two Union University students, Grant Taylor and Lauren Oldham, delivered expressions of appreciation to the Leadership Societies for their generosity.
“I would like to say thank you very much for your support,” said Oldham, a marketing major from Martin, Tenn. “Union University means everything to me. Union is about excellence and integrity.”
Taylor, a senior from Johnson City, Tenn., said Union is a unique institution. “It is unique because of the people and the quality of the academics,” Taylor said. “This is an incredible, life-shaping place.
“The best thing is that I discovered a purpose for my life – to take the Christian worldview to other people,” Taylor added.
Dockery delivered an upbeat message about the university’s health, pointing out that it was the seventh straight year of gifts exceeding $6 million and the second consecutive year that the university has had more than 3,200 donors make gifts to the institution.
In spite of challenging economic times, the university has passed the $58 million mark in the $60 million capital campaign. Dockery said the university had 10 donors who gave at least $100,000 or more and more than 50 donors who gave over $10,000 to Union.
Dockery also noted Union’s recent national rankings as a top tier institution from U.S. News and World Report. He reported that the university’s enrollment set a new record – 2,809 students.
The 2003-04 freshman class has an average ACT score of 25 and includes six National Merit Finalists, 44 valedictorians and salutatorians, and more than 70 percent who were ranked in the top 25 percent of their graduating high school class.