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Union celebrates accomplishments from 2005 long-range plan

JACKSON, Tenn.Dec. 3, 2004 – With Union trustees’ approval of the “Union 2010” long-range plan, the university officially closes the book on its previous plan, “Vision and Values 2005.”

Originally adopted in 2000, the 2005 plan outlined a series of goals toward which university personnel have been working. Union met all of the goals from “Vision and Values 2005” except two.

“The results of the 2005 plan are an incredible testimony to the dedicated work of the Union faculty and staff and the wonderful leadership of the Union board,” Union president David Dockery said. “Almost 95 percent of all the major objectives and goals were achieved during this time period.”

The 2005 plan called for the start of several new majors and degree programs at Union, including engineering, digital media studies, a doctor of education degree, an educational specialist degree, a master of science in nursing and a master of arts in intercultural studies.

Union now offers all of these programs.

In addition, the 2005 plan outlined an aggressive campus construction program. Since the planning stages of the 2005 plan, Union has built two single student dormitories that house 80 students; Hammons Hall, which houses the campus bookstore, conference rooms and advancement offices; Jennings Hall, a 45,000 square-foot facility that houses the academic departments of communication arts, music and Christian Studies; a 100-foot clock/bell tower and other campus improvements

The two goals the university did not meet were a freshman enrollment of 500 for the fall of 2004 and construction of a new science building. Both of these goals are high on the priority list for Union’s 2010 plan.

White Hall will be a $12 million, 60,000 square foot facility that will house the departments of biology, chemistry and nursing. Originally scheduled for completion by 2005, the building project has been delayed due to tornadoes in 2002 and 2003, as well as funding and space issues. Revised estimates are for the three-story facility to open no later than spring 2007.

Even though Union didn’t meet the goal of 500 freshmen, freshman enrollment has been on the rise, Dockery said. Union has had seven straight years of more than 400 freshman students, compared to an average of about 350 in previous years. Total fall 2004 enrollment was a record 2,919 students.

“Furthermore, the academic quality has significantly increased, best seen by the fact that more than 20 National Merit finalists are enrolled this semester at Union,” Dockery said.

Other successful goals from the 2005 plan included:

• men’s and women’s cross country teams.

• an outdoor basketball court.

• wiring dorms to connect with the campus information network.

• new athletic fields for varsity baseball, softball and soccer.

“The 2005 plan has propelled Union University forward in numerous ways, evident to many around the country,” Dockery said. “Union is now seen as one of the truly premier private universities in the South and one of the outstanding Christian universities in the nation. The remarkable steps are evidence of God’s hand of blessing on this university.”

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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