JACKSON, Tenn. – April 25, 2003– The Union University Board of Trustees unanimously approved a $38 million budget for fiscal year 2003-04 during their spring meeting April 25.
In his report to the trustees, Union president David S. Dockery described the state of the university as "extremely healthy." While many businesses and universities are being forced to make cuts, Union is blessed to be able to provide modest increases in key areas, said Dockery. "It is encouraging to see this kind of commitment and growth during difficult economic times," he said.
The tornado damage suffered by Union on Nov. 10, 2002 has been fully repaired and the total cost of repairs was covered by a combination of insurance and the generous gifts of Tennessee Baptists and other benefactors, Dockery reported.
Dockery noted that the spring semester enrollment of 2524 is a record enrollment for the university during a spring semester. He also reported that the number of donors to the university and the number of applications by prospective students are up considerably over previous years.
Prior to the formal meeting of the board, trustees gathered for a banquet at the Garden Plaza Hotel in Jackson April 24. Dr. and Mrs. Wayne Dehoney were named Honorary Trustee and Trustee Emeritus, respectively. Dr. Dehoney is the former pastor of First Baptist Church, Jackson and Walnut Street Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., as well as a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Mrs. Dehoney is a Union alumna and former trustee of the university. Dr. David Q. Byrd, former pastor of West Jackson Baptist Church, was also named Trustee Emeritus.
Jay Kesler, chancellor at Taylor University, was the keynote speaker for the event. Kesler praised the mission and work of Union over the past 170 years. Of the colleges and universities founded in America between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, "Union is one of a half dozen still faithful to the Gospel," said Kesler. Union University is "about the business of salting the earth with graduates who understand a Christian worldview … and can engage their world confidently and civilly in all areas of human endeavor," Kesler said.
Dockery also announced the retirement of two Union faculty members and one staff person. Bill Hedspeth, professor of education, and Sandra Williams, associate professor of physical education will retire at the end of the spring semester. Sue Smith of Union's financial aid office will also retire this year.