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Union trustees give green light for student housing, dining hall projects

JACKSON, Tenn.March 16, 2007 – Union University will proceed with construction of new student housing and expansion of the Coburn Dining Hall, after members of the trustees’ executive board approved the projects in their March 8 meeting.

The executive board also approved tenure and promotions for various faculty members and selected Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page as the recipient of this year’s M.E. Dodd Award, the highest denominational service award Union gives. It is named for the man who was a Union alumnus, served as president of the SBC and who was the father of today’s Cooperative Program.

The Cooperative Program is the way in which Southern Baptist churches pool their resources to fund mission endeavors. Last year’s Dodd Award recipient was Morris Chapman, president of the SBC’s Executive Committee.

Page is pastor of First Baptist Church of Taylors, S.C.

“Frank Page exemplifies everything that the M.E. Dodd Award stands for,” Union University President David S. Dockery said. “He is a loyal leader among Southern Baptists and a hero of the Cooperative Program.”

The new dormitory, which will cost an estimated $6.5 million, will accommodate 128 students in a four-story, hotel-style facility. Each suite accommodates four students and will include four private bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and two bathrooms.

It will be the first facility of a new student housing complex, as the university plans to construct a new dorm building every other year for the next decade. The complex will be located in what is now the parking lot between the Hurt and Watters housing complexes. Parking for the dorms will be moved to the other side of Walker Road.

The first building, scheduled for completion in 2008, will be a dorm for women.

The Coburn Dining Hall expansion will add a 13,616-square-foot banquet hall facility to the current dining room, located in the Barefoot Student Union. The new banquet hall will seat 500 people and will include a lobby area, public restrooms and a staging room.

In personnel matters, the executive board promoted 15 faculty members:

To university professor -- Ralph Leverett, education, and Tom Rosebrough, education.

To professor -- Michele Atkins, education; Gene Fant, English; Naomi Larsen, sociology, Mary Anne Poe, social work; Donna Sachse, nursing; Jill Webb, nursing; and Charles Fowler, education.

To associate professor – Paul Deschenes, psychology; Rhonda Hudson, social work; Karen Martin, language; Karen Miller, business; and Valerie Watters-Burke, nursing.

To assistant professor – Christy Pawley, nursing.

The executive board also granted tenure to Sean Evans, political science; Patricia Hamilton, English; Judy LeForge, history; Michael Salazar, chemistry; and Webb, nursing.

Fant, who had been serving as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on an interim basis, was hired for that position permanently.

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

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