Union alum get reacquainted at "If My Friends Could See Me Now" - Homecoming 2001 - News Release | Union University, a Christian College in Tennessee

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Union alum get reacquainted at "If My Friends Could See Me Now" - Homecoming 2001

JACKSON, Tenn.Feb. 17, 2001 – Union University graduates enjoyed reminiscing and getting reacquainted with other Unionites during Homecoming 2001, Feb. 16-17 through reunion dinners, basketball games and various university department events.

Images from Homecoming 2001

"Overall, we had a great turnout," said Gary Williams, executive director of alumni services at Union. "I was very pleased with how many attended the awards luncheon as well as the dinners that were held Friday night."

Several department-sponsored dinners and receptions were held Friday evening including class reunions for 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, and 1996. Those 1951 graduates and "Golden Year" graduates (those who graduated before 1950) were honored with gold medallions engraved with Union's seal.

Current Union students also celebrated Homecoming with Wild and Wacky games, a coffeehouse featuring Christian Contemporary Artist Andrew Peterson, and a spirit competition in which several campus organizations competed in various events and competitions for the coveted Homecoming Trophy.

Winners of the Large Group category, Chi Omega, are pictured here performing during All-Sing 2001.
All-Sing, an annual talent and variety competition sponsored annually by Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, was held Friday evening with a full crowd of students and alumni in attendance. Winners of the Large Group category were the women's Chi Omega Sorority, and winning the Small Group category was Lambda Chi, one of the university's men's fraternities.

During the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs' games against major rival Freed Hardeman University, Ellie Evans, a senior communications major from Henderson, Ky. was crowned homecoming queen Saturday during half-time festivities. Other members of the homecoming court included: Autumn Alcott of Murray, Ky., Julie Black of Cordova, Tenn., Jennifer McClearen of Centerville, Tenn., Mindy Sellers of Bradford, Tenn., Heather Vaughn of Carterville, Il., and Kristin Wicker of Naples, Fla.

The Homecoming Court (L to R): Julie Black, Mindy Sellers, Jennifer McClearan, Queen Ellie Evans, Kristin Wicker, Autumn Alcott, Heather Vaughn.

During the annual Alumni Homecoming Luncheon held on Saturday, four Union graduates were presented with awards.

Donald Morris, Sr., a 1962 Union graduate and assistant vice president and director of financial aid at Union, who was awarded the Distinguished Faculty/Staff Award. Morris also served as coach for the university's golf team from 1972 until 1998, leading the team to win more than 30 conferences and tournaments. The award is a salute to long and meritorious service to Union University by an employee.

Lisa Williams Rogers, a 1983 Union graduate, received the Distinguished Service Award. A resident of Jackson with her husband Kenny and their three children, Rogers currently serves as an obstetrician and gynecologist for The Jackson Clinic in Jackson. The award is based on service to mankind and/or to Union University by an alumnus of the university.

Alicia Wilkerson Smotherman, a 1963 graduate of Union, was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. A family physician, Smotherman resides in Fort Worth, Tex. with her husband Thad. The award is based on distinction in one's profession and for bringing honor and recognition to Union University through that profession.

The oldest Union alum attending this year's Homecoming was Hannah Cole Serino ('33) who is pictured here with weekly bowling partner Carolyn Hinton Hays ('51).

John Bradley Greer, a 1992 graduate of Union, received the Outstanding Young Achiever Award. Greer, the owner of Premier Promotions resides in Jackson with his wife Rhonda and their three children. The award is presented to an individual, age 35 or younger, who shows record of significant accomplishment in professional life and for serve to Union University or the world.

Two newly created Reunion Giving Awards were given during the luncheon as well. The Class of 1961 won the award for highest dollar contribution in a five-year period, and the Class of 1956 won for the highest percentage of class giving with 44.16% offering some amount of support to Union. Coming in second place in both categories was the Class of 1951.

During the luncheon, Union President David S. Dockery spoke to those in attendance and gave high praise to outgoing Alumni National Association President Gary Grisham, ('71) and pointing out the significant strides the alumni program has experienced under Grisham's leadership.

"It's an exciting time to be on Union University's campus," said Dockery, highlighting the many changes that have occurred, including the newly built academic building, Jennings Hall, and the Miller Tower that is almost completed. He made note of the high levels of excellence the university is reaching in so many different areas such as academics and national reputation, though Union's alumni support ranking continues to be low.

"It is impossible for future generations of Union students to receive the same excellence-driven, Christ-centered education without help from those who have come before them," said Dockery, emphasizing, however, that the university's records of giving are not indicative of the love people feel for Union.

"We have a wonderful history and a great heritage on which we build, and we give thanks to God for the traditions and relationships we can return to the campus to enjoy when we're here at Homecoming," Dockery added.

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

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