JACKSON, Tenn. – Feb. 15, 2003 – Union University recognized six outstanding individuals during its annual Alumni Reunion Luncheon Saturday, Feb. 15.
Russell Wayne Mayfield, who attended Union during the 1940’s, received the Distinguished Service Award. Mayfield is retired from a 51-year family medicine practice and resides in Bells with his wife Carrie. The award is based on service to mankind and/or to Union University by an alumnus of the university.
“To get any award is an honor,” said Mayfield. “To get an award from an institution such as Union is a high honor.” He quoted from Romans 8:28, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” saying the verse had always been true in his life and in his relationship with Union.
Jackson resident Jane Betts, a ‘74 Union graduate and registrar for the university, received the Distinguished Faculty/Staff Award. Betts has also served as records clerk and assistant registrar at Union. The award is a salute to long and meritorious service to Union University by an employee.
Betts says she proclaimed her intention to go to Union at the age of three, while living across the street from the old campus on Hays Avenue. She fulfilled that promise and has been employed by the university since her graduation, affording her the joy of lifelong learning. “I’ve learned not only from my supervisors and coworkers, but also the students,” Betts said.
Teresa Luna, a 1979 graduate of Union, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. A high school teacher, Luna resides in Jackson, Tenn. with her husband Tony. The award is based on distinction in one’s profession and for bringing honor and recognition to Union University through that profession.
Luna thanked the professors, staff and students who helped her overcome shyness and prepared her to make a difference in the lives of her students. “The faculty truly believed in me until I could believe in myself,” she said.
Kevin Troy Sheilley, a 1994 graduate of Union, received the Outstanding Young Achiever Award. Sheilley, the executive director of “Team Taylor County” resides in Campbellsville, Ky. with his wife Lisa and their two sons. The award is presented to an individual, age 35 or younger, who shows a record of significant accomplishment in professional life and for service to Union University or the world.
“Union is a place of which I will always be proud to say I am an alumnus,” said Sheilley. The reputation of the university and its graduates has played an important part in his success, he said.
Wayne and Greta Pearson from Powell, Tenn. received the Honorary Alumnus/Alumna Award. The award is presented for outstanding service to the university by one who had not attended Union.
The Pearsons began supporting Union twenty-five years ago. “We decided that Union University had similar beliefs, ideas, focus and commitment to serving our Lord and training others to serve Him as we had,” said Wayne. “We thank God for leading us to Union University.”