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Union staff member adds mortarboard to her many hats

JACKSON, Tenn.Dec. 18, 2001 – "Beverly Vos, Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership."

With those eight words, Bev, as her friends call her, stepped onto stage during Union's recent December graduation to receive something she has waited for since 1972 – a college degree. A college degree is quite an achievement for anyone, but not only did Bev receive her degree, she managed to do it while keeping up with her other responsibilities as a wife for more than 20 years, a mother of five and a full time job – an accomplishment she credits to “an intrinsic motivation to achieve.”

Bev Vos receives her diploma from President Dockery
Bev Vos receives her diploma from President Dockery.
Though Bev did start college after graduating from high school, she returned home to Pella, Iowa to marry her "wonderful husband" after only one semester and devoted her time to raising their children as they came along.

In 1995, her husband received a job offer in Jackson, Tenn. and the family made the move. The same year, she accepted a position at Union, where she now serves as administrative assistant to the Senior Vice President for Business Services. Her oldest daughter, Cammie, also came to Union as a full time student.

After much encouragement from her daughters and with a lot of support from her husband, Bev enrolled as a student at Union University. This began her long journey of taking classes during her lunch break, extending her days from six a.m. in the morning to midnight or later or what she called "a normal day," and maintaining a full time job. She was able to take classes while at work because of a unique program Union offers their staff which allows them to spend one hour away from the desk in order to attend classes to be applied towards a degree.

Bev Vos is greeted by family and friends.
"Union really encourages their faculty and staff to better themselves and become better citizens," said Bev.

Shortly after beginning classes Bev entered the LAUNCH program – an adult studies program offered by Union designed to meet the needs of working adults. LAUNCH allows the completion of a bachelor of science in organizational leadership in minimal time, by offering night classes that won’t interfere with a full time job. This allowed Bev to take up to 12 hours a semester and interfere with her work schedule.

"All I can say is that I am very thankful for the opportunity Union has provided me," remarked Bev.

The biggest challenge for Bev was juggling priorities. She recalls a time when her husband had to be a way on business for a week at the same time as finals. Her married daughter would take Bev’s youngest son home with her overnight and take him to school the next morning so that Bev could study. Times like those were when her whole family became "cheerleaders" for her, said Bev.

With both of her daughters graduating from Union – her eldest, Cammie, in 1997 with a degree in art and her youngest, Brynna, in 1999 in business administration, Bev’s niece Julie, eventually through her encouragement, transferred from a college in the Midwest to Union and graduated in 2000 with a degree in social work. Bev says she is very proud to be the fourth woman from her family to graduate from Union in the last five years.

By Gina Gallion ('03)
Special to Union Today

Media contact: Sara B. Horn, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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