Warren Jones Academic Suite fosters interdisciplinary learning

By Alli Hill

The newly dedicated Providence Hall has relocated Union’s School of Pharmacy, and the pharmacy’s previous location is being used to honor a former president.

Dr. Warren F. Jones led Union University from 1945–1962. Under his leadership, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools granted the university accreditation. During the last year of Jones’ presidency, Union developed its nursing program with the help of the Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.

Former presidents Dr. Robert Craig (1967–1985) and Dr. Hyran Barefoot (1987–1996) are honored on the Jackson campus through the Craig dormitory in the Heritage Quad and the Barefoot Student Union Building.

Jones was honored with a dormitory dedicated in his name, but Jones Hall was destroyed by the tornado that hit campus in February 2008. Since then, Jones has not had a place of recognition.

The newly developed Warren Jones Academic Suite, established during 2010 Penick Academic Complex upgrades, is located in the PAC, where the School of Pharmacy resided prior to the completion of Providence Hall.

Dr. Carla Sanderson, provost and executive vice president and chief operating officer, said, “The Jones Suite is a hub of activity, reflecting the university’s commitment to a strong liberal arts foundation.”

The suite houses the departments of history and political science, the honors community and the Carl F.H. Henry Institute for Intellectual Discipleship, which provides leadership for the freshmen Gateway course.

Sanderson said the suite will also house three new members of Union’s community — Dr. Hunter Baker, associate professor of political science and senior associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Roman Williams, assistant professor of sociology; and Justin Phillips, assistant to the vice president for Student Services, who will also be teaching in  the Gateway program.

Dr. Stephen Carls, university professor of history and department chair, said the space “has brought several different disciplines and programs together, which will allow interdisciplinary conversations to take place among faculty and students.”

He also said the suite is closer to department classrooms.

“History students will have easy access to the members of the History Department because all the offices, except that of the chair, are located in the same hallway, and the chair’s office is just around the corner,” Carls said.

“Many of us, for example, will have the opportunity of seeing important aspects of Union’s honors community at work. That is something I find very exciting.”

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.