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Union enrollment tops 3,000, hits another new high

JACKSON, Tenn.Aug. 9, 2006 – Enrollment at Union University this fall will top 3,000 students for the first time.

Though the numbers are not yet final, university officials are projecting an enrollment of 3,150 students when classes begin Aug. 29. That tops last year’s fall enrollment of 2,981 by 6 percent and is a record for Union.

The figure is a 60 percent increase over the 1,972 students enrolled in the fall of 1996, when Union University President David Dockery began his tenure. To put Union’s growth in perspective, enrollment at four-year public campuses increased 13 percent from 1990-2004, according to the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. For four-year independent, religious campuses, enrollment increased 28 percent over the same period.

“These numbers are strong indicators of the strength and health of Union University at this time,” Dockery said. “It is exciting to see such quality students from across this state, as well as from across this country, choose Union University. They are making this choice because of the outstanding faculty and academic reputation of the university, and because of the solid Christian commitment that undergirds all aspects of our mission.”

Of the 2,981 enrolled last fall, about 900 students graduated during the 2005-2006 academic year. That means if Union’s enrollment this fall hits the expected 3,150, the university will welcome about 1,100 new students to its Jackson and Germantown campuses this year.

Union’s faculty has expanded with its student body – from 112 faculty members in 1996 to 161 faculty members this year, an increase of 44 percent.

Some other highlights from the upcoming fall semester:

• The number of new freshmen is up 9 percent from last year.

• The number of students in undergraduate residential housing is up 12 percent from last year.

• More than 20 new engineering students will be enrolled.

• New students will be enrolled in new programs, such as the nurse anesthetist program, the accelerated undergraduate nursing program and the master’s degree in Christian Studies program.

“Beyond the size of the class, we are very pleased with the quality of our incoming students, as they bring a wealth of gifts, talents and abilities to our community,” said Rich Grimm, Union’s vice president for enrollment. “We look forward to helping them attain their goals and commit ourselves to their success.”

To accommodate the consistent growth, Union continues to improve the campus. The university just dedicated the Fesmire Field House, which will provide indoor practice facilities, locker rooms and offices for the athletic department. Construction on White Hall, a $20 million, three-story science building, is scheduled for completion in April 2007.

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

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