HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – Aug. 2, 2012 – Union University dedicated its new 26,000-square-foot facility in Hendersonville with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 2.
“This is as fine of an educational facility as you can find in this state,” President David S. Dockery said. “It is a place that will serve Union University well, and a place that will serve this city and county for years to come.”
On behalf of the Union Board of Trustees, Dockery announced the new building will be named Ayers Hall in honor of benefactors James and Janet Ayers, who developed the project through Ayers Asset Management.
Calling them “amazing friends,” Dockery acknowledged that “this facility is here today because of the generosity of Jim and Janet Ayers.”
He also recognized key partnerships with High Point Health System, Tri-Star Health, Memorial Foundation and the City of Hendersonville.
Provost Carla Sanderson presented a dedicatory reading. Participants in the ceremonial ribbon-cutting included Jim and Janet Ayers, Hendersonville Mayor Scott Foster, Tennessee Baptist Convention Executive Director Randy Davis, Union Board of Trustees Chairman Norman Hill, and representatives from building contractor Hardaway Construction and architectural firm TLM Associates. Representing the Union administration were Hendersonville Project Manager and Chief Financial Officer Gary Carter, Executive Vice President for Academic Administration Gene Fant, and Dockery.
Other denominational leaders who took part in the program included Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, Paul Clark, director of worship and music for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, and Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.
Davis said Union’s commitment to strong academics and service will lead to exciting new opportunities.
“Union has a philosophy of serving the churches, and it is seen in so many different ways,” Davis said. “Having Union in Middle Tennessee will impact our entire state.”
Dockery acknowledged that some in attendance at the ceremony were involved in the earliest planning discussions about the new campus more than four years ago. Since then, strong new relationships have been established with denominational leaders, government representatives and the local health care and business and education communities.
“Through all of these partnerships, the Christ-centered mission of Union University can be advanced,” Dockery said. “It’s going to be exciting to watch this campus in days ahead; as we see graduates leave this place to make a difference in all of these fields.”
Union University Hendersonville currently offers programs for non-traditional students in education, nursing, theology and missions, as well as a bachelor’s degree completion program designed for working adults.
Classes have been underway in the new building at 205 Indian Lake Blvd. since June. It includes seven general purpose classrooms, an academic commons, six-station nursing simulation lab, three additional specialized nursing labs, offices for all academic and administrative areas, two conference rooms and a testing center.
The entire building has wireless Internet connectivity, and all classes and labs are equipped with interactive television capacity.
“We’re delighted about state-of-the-art technology alongside state-of-the-art teaching Union has brought here,” Mayor Foster said. ‘I think it’s going to be a win-win for all of us.”
Many in attendance at the ceremony also took tours of the building. On the second floor, nursing students and faculty demonstrated patient simulators.
“The Christ-centeredness of this campus is amazing,” said Dallas Upchurch, a BSN student who plans to graduate next spring. “I am able to relate my relationship with Christ and my schooling. It’s going to be a huge benefit to this area.”
Contact: Mark Kahler, Associate Vice President for University Communications, (731) 661-5543