JACKSON, Tenn. – Nov. 10, 2009 – Hundreds of Union University alumni celebrated their annual homecoming with a week of activities that culminated Nov. 7 in a tailgate party, the crowning of a new homecoming queen and wins for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Katy Pope, a senior graphic design major from Sylacauga, Ala., was selected as the 2009 homecoming queen and crowned at halftime of the Lady Bulldogs’ 75-54 win over St. Francis. She is the daughter of Doug and Amy Pope.
After the women’s game, the Bulldogs defeated William Woods 108-51 in David Niven’s first game as head coach. The afternoon of basketball followed a morning tailgate party on the Great Lawn that included an “Arts in the Park” exhibit and several family-friendly activities.
“Homecoming 2009 provided a wonderful occasion for special memories, and I don’t think we’ve had a better homecoming in my 14 years here,” Union University President David S. Dockery said. “The entire weekend was helped by the gorgeous days that the Lord provided for us. Overall, it was a remarkable time for the Union family.”
Other homecoming attendants were Nadja Barros, a freshman from Linden, Tenn., and the daughter of Greg and Denise Childress; Libby Parks, a sophomore from Louisville, Ky., and the daughter of Daniel and Sally Parks; Kari Beougher, a junior from Louisville, Ky., and the daughter of Tim and Sharon Beougher; Kelly Reed, a senior from Collierville, Tenn., and the daughter of Ed and Kathy Reed; Natalie West, a senior from Memphis, Tenn., and the daughter of Don and Jana West; and Kristen Voorhies, a senior from Pleasant View, Tenn., and the daughter of Barry and Lisa Voorhies.
In addition to the homecoming court, seniors Scott McSwain and Courtney Bragg were named Mr. and Miss Union. McSwain is a Spanish language and culture major from Jackson, Tenn., and is the son of Mark and Dottie McSwain. Bragg, of Birmingham, Ala., is double majoring in teaching English as a second language and psychology and is the daughter of Lev and Vicki Bragg.
Other events during the week included a special homecoming chapel service Nov. 6, in which Union recognized 21 members of the class of 1960, celebrating their 50-year reunion. The class members attended a luncheon following the chapel service and then took a tour of the former campus in downtown Jackson.
The chapel service also featured the annual alumni awards. Retired Union math professor Don Richard, who taught at Union from 1983 until his retirement in May, received the Distinguished Faculty/Staff Award. Andy Bailey, a 1976 Union graduate, received the Distinguished Service Award posthumously. Bailey served as a police officer with the Jackson Police Dept. and was killed in the line of duty in 2004. His daughter Brooke received the award on his behalf.
Justin Wainscott, pastor for teaching ministries at First Baptist Church in Paducah, Ky., and a 2002 Union graduate, preached in the chapel service and encouraged students not to reject the ordinary as they seek God’s direction for their lives.
“I our own lives he still uses very ordinary means, things as ordinary as people and places, to bring about his extraordinarily sovereign, providential purposes,” Wainscott said. “So students, let us learn to rest in the ordinary. But let us ever realize that the ordinary is actually part of the extraordinary grace of a providential God.”
Earlier in the week, more than 900 Union students, faculty and staff participated in the seventh annual “Campus and Community: A Day of Remembrance and Service” and worked on more than 60 community service projects in the local community.
The Student Activities Council won the annual Presidential Homecoming Cup competition.