JACKSON, Tenn. – July 27, 2013 – Nearly 200 students graduated from Union University July 27 during the summer commencement service of the 188th graduating class at West Jackson Baptist Church.
Union’s summer commencement ceremony largely consists of non-traditional and graduate students who have completed their work in such fields as organizational leadership, nursing, education, business administration, social work and theology and missions.
The 194 students who received degrees brought the total number of Union graduates for the 2012-2013 academic year to nearly 1,150 – one of the largest classes in Union’s history.
Union President David S. Dockery delivered the commencement address, dedicating it to Will Gray, a 2002 Union alumnus who died July 25 at age 33 after a battle with cancer. Gray became a Christian as a freshman at Union, and Dockery said that conversion transformed Gray’s life as a student, athlete, musician and artist.
“He’s one of the most creative persons I have ever met,” Dockery said. “For the last 15 years, his life has touched and influenced as many people as any Union graduate that we have ever known. Today we give thanks for the life and influence of Will Gray.”
In his address, Dockery challenged graduates to see their work not as a burden or something evil, but as a divinely ordained calling from God.
“It is our prayer that the education you have received from the hands of the Union University faculty has helped to shape your motivations and purposes – your values, so that they are different from those around you,” Dockery said.
“You leave this place to go into the marketplace not just to get a job, as important as that may be. You leave this place to make a difference for the cause of Christ in this world.”
Due to inclement weather, all Union campuses will be closed on Friday, March 6, with all classes canceled.
The wellness center will open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m., and the aquatic center will be open from 1-3 p.m.
Friday's Preview Day has been canceled.
Brewer Dining Hall will be open from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Friday. The Lex will be closed. No breakfast will be served.