By Kendra Loh
Union University has been nationally recognized as one of the Best Southeastern Colleges by the Princeton Review and also has been included in the list of Colleges of Distinction, according to the fall 2012 releases.
“The recent affirmations for Union University from both the Princeton Review and the Colleges of Distinction point to the academic quality of the Union faculty, staff and students,” said David S. Dockery, university president. “Both solidify Union’s reputation as an outstanding regional private institution with an emerging national profile.”
“I salute the entire Union community on these significant recognitions,” Dockery said.
The Princeton Review released its “best in the Southeast” rankings in August, naming 135 colleges on its website. The selections were made based on data collected from schools, the opinions of college counselors and advisers and also survey results concerning student’s experiences in their schools.
According to the Princeton Review website, some of the questions asked in the surveys had to do with a school’s academics or administration, students’ classroom experiences and quality of life outside the classroom.
The Colleges of Distinction guide also included Union in its listings, which were updated in June.
On the guide’s website, Union is described as “a place that is readying a generation of thinkers and change agents who will shape culture with innovative ideas and reform in law and politics, philosophy and religion, science, music, literature and art.”
The guide’s authors determined the recognition of schools by focusing on four main distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community, and successful outcomes.
Authors described the reason Union is qualified in each aspect and provided valid examples in the profile of the university on its website.
Dr. Carla Sanderson, executive vice president for strategic initiatives and provost, said national recognitions are an objective way for prospective families to come to understand the quality of the university.
“The recognitions do not change anything for us internally,” Sanderson said. “We want to be highly purposeful and will continue to seek God’s direction over this place as we strive to bring Him glory through all we do.”
Dr. Gene Fant, executive vice president for academic administration, said recognitions such as these are affirmations of the work done at Union.
“We do not aspire to earn them, per se, but we believe that when we are noticed by these kinds of reviews and rankings, it is a helpful reflection on the quality of our work,” Fant said. “Because we do everything as unto the Lord, we view these results as a praise to Him and as source of gratitude for the hard work that everyone undertakes.
“Another important effect of this is the encouragement of our alumni and even our donors. These kinds of accolades remind folks that we have something very unusual going in our programs, something that the larger educational culture has taken note of and has applauded.”