Abbie Williams, freshman psychology major, has had significant family ties to Union since before she was born.
“My mom, uncles, aunt and both of my sisters went here,” she said. “So that made me want to look into it more. I really like how it’s Christ-centered, and it just seemed like a good fit for me.”
From 1967 to 1986, Williams’ grandfather, Robert E. Craig, served as Union’s 13th president. During his term, Union transitioned from a downtown Jackson location to the current north Jackson campus, and enrollment numbers increased significantly.
After his time at Union, Craig went on to be president of East Texas Baptist University until his death in 1992. President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver served at the same school before coming to Union this year.
“I never actually got to meet my grandfather—he died before I was born,” Williams said. “I really wish I could have met him because he sounds like a great guy.”
Williams said her parents never pushed her to attend Union, although she knew they would enjoy having her here. After visiting her older sisters and having lifelong Union influences around her, she was “really comfortable with the decision to come here.”
Williams is from Winchester, Tennessee.
“It’s a really small town, not many people have heard of it,” she said. “Just the normal small town stuff like hanging out in the Walmart parking lot and going to football games.”
The adjustment from high school to college life was more difficult that expected, Williams said. Joining Chi Omega women’s fraternity has been a key element in meeting new people and forming friendships.
“I also go to Englewood [Baptist Church] a lot, and I’m looking into joining the Psychology Club,” she said.
Before college, Williams was “really big into soccer,” having played since 3rd grade. She even considered playing at the college level, but said she is looking forward to participating in intramurals.
Williams said her favorite aspect of college so far is the independence.
“Being able to hang out with your friends really late, you start to get to know people,” she said. “You couldn’t stay out until 12 or 1 on school nights [in high school], so that’s been great because I’ve been developing those friendships more.”
Her long-term goals involve a career in counseling, so Williams plans to receive her Master’s degree after graduating.