By Kimberlee Hauss and Samantha Adams
Upon arriving at Union University, it does not take long to realize that the 2012 vision for transforming the campus has implemented significant changes over the summer.
The school now boasts five new buildings, additional parking spaces and updates to older facilities.
Beyond the physical changes, Union has welcomed several new staff and faculty members and has launched two new programs for honors students and incoming freshmen.
Under the leadership of President David S. Dockery, university president, and the approval of the board of trustees, Union has expanded its facilities, increased enrollment and stands ready for the challenges of a new school year. Below is a list of the specific updates that have taken place over the summer:
•Providence Hall, named in gratitude to God for his providential care over the school since the 2008 tornado, was dedicated Aug. 25. The state-of-the-art facility houses the School of Pharmacy and health care simulation programs. The building consists of three floors containing offices, classrooms, labs and simulations.
•The Hope Quad provides three new apartment buildings and 150 rooms to accommodate female resident students. The quad is located to the right of the Welcome House on Dement Drive. It was dedicated Aug. 27.
•The Student Dining Hall has been renamed the Brewer Dining Hall in honor of Dr. Maggie Nell Brewer, who served as vice president for student affairs for 30 years, from 1965–1995. Brewer was also the first female senior administrator in Union’s history.
•In order to reduce unnecessary costs, printing services is now putting a limit on the number of pages students can print. Each student will have a 450-page limit, and once this is exceeded, he or she must purchase more pages from the library.
•Union welcomed 31 new faculty members from across the United States.
•The Warren Jones Academic Suite, located in the Penick Academic Complex where the School of Pharmacy used to be housed, was named for Union’s former president, Dr. Warren F. Jones.
•The smell of fresh paint filled the PAC halls on the first day of fall semester classes. In addition to paint on the walls, updates in the building included new desks in the classrooms and improved flooring.
•The fall soccer season will be the first season in which the Union Bulldogs play at the new Smith Memorial Soccer Complex, which was dedicated May 21.
•A total of 430 new parking spaces have been added on campus within the past year, in conjunction with a large incoming class and the construction of the Bowld Commons, the Hope Quad and Providence Hall.
•The Honors Program is implementing significant structural changes in the 2010 fall semester. Under the new framework, freshman and sophomore honors students will take general honors courses in addition to previous honors requirements. Junior and senior honors students will be able to apply for the opportunity to participate in funded research within their field of study.
•Faculty, professors and upperclassmen have collaborated to revise the Gateway course for freshman students. Changes to the course include a talk-show format for the four large-group sessions, interrupted by light-hearted but informative commercials to highlight services and opportunities available on campus.