JACKSON, Tenn. – April 28, 2005 – The Union Auxiliary held its annual spring luncheon April 14 in Coburn Dining Room, featuring Maggie Nell Brewer, retired vice president for student affairs at Union, and Louise Bentley, a retired English professor, as guest speakers.
Lanese Dockery, president of the women’s auxiliary, said the luncheon’s purpose was to provide encouragement to the members. She said the luncheon was not a fundraising event and that all money used by the auxiliary is raised through memberships and used for scholarships.
Members of the auxiliary and their guests enjoyed lunch as they listened to the speakers share memories from working at Union. Crystal Taylor sang for special music.
Bentley, a professor of English for 14 years at Union, expressed her gratitude for Union as a “God-called school,” while Brewer shared memories of working as dean of women, dean of students and, until her retirement, vice president for student affairs.
“Union’s highest goal is training young people to know God better,” Bentley said.
Each year the Union Auxiliary awards six $1,000 scholarships to eligible students and one $500 stipend for books. The scholarship is often the extra push students need to graduate, Dockery said.
Dockery said the scholarships are only given to juniors and seniors because “they’re our first priority because we want to help people graduate from here.”
In an effort to incorporate the Germantown campus into the auxiliary, a $500 stipend is given for books for graduate students at the Germantown campus. The money rotates between the schools of business, education and nursing.
The Union Auxiliary also provides encouragement to international students and missionaries’ kids by remembering them on their birthdays, providing snack bags at the end of each semester and by hosting a Christmas party every year for both groups.
Every year at the fall meeting of the Union Auxiliary, each member adopts an international student or missionary kid. All of the money needed for birthday cards, snack bags or parties is extra paid by the adopter and does not come from the scholarship fund. From the money given to the auxiliary, 90 percent goes toward scholarships and the remaining 10 percent is used for materials.
Since organizational planning began in April 1998, the group has raised nearly $202,000 for scholarships, and giving for 2004 exceeded $48,000.
At first, only two scholarships were given annually, but that number has increased to six annual scholarships. Since 1999, the auxiliary has awarded 27 scholarships of $1,000 each and three $500 stipends for books at the Germantown campus.
The Union Auxiliary currently has 177 active members. A member can pay anywhere from $25 to more than $10,000 depending on whether she wants to be a partner ($25 and above), a member of one of three scholarship circles ($250, $500 and $1,000) or have an endowment fund named by her ($10,000 and above). Three endowed scholarship funds have been given.
Crystal Kinser ('07)