Twenty-six years ago, the class of 1963 raised money to build the fountain between the Penick Academic Complex and the Barefoot Student Union Building.
This year, that same class continued its giving by donating five flags, which now fly over the west entrance of campus off of Pleasant Plains Road.
The flags were dedicated and raised at a small ceremony Feb. 21 at the beginning of Homecoming weekend.
Alumni from the class of 1963 and 1964 attended the event as well as a few Union faculty and staff.
“I have heard many, many positive comments this week from people across the campus. I think the flags are beautiful flying in the wind,” said David Dockery, university president. “I do believe that the class of 1963 has accomplished their goal: to find a way to provide a gift to Union that would enhance the campus.”
The class appointed a committee to oversee the project, led by alumni Roy Jones and Alicia Smotherman.
The committee not only raised enough money to build the flags but also an additional $35,000, which it donated to an endowed scholarship fund in honor of the class of 1963.
The committee chose three traditional flags, the American, the Tennessee and the Christian flags, and two original flags, the “World Mission” and Union flags, positioned on the north and south ends of the display.
The world missions flag represents “the heart of Union University to extend the gospel around the world and participate faithfully with the global church,” Dockery said.
The committee incorporated the university crest on the Union flag, which represents Union’s commitment to Christian higher education.
Dockery expressed gratitude for the leadership and initiative shown by the class of 1963, saying, “We are thankful for the loyal commitment to the university displayed by these alumni and for their generosity to Union through the years, and particularly this past year in their efforts regarding this project.”