Department of Music Hosts Children’s Summer Camp


For the past several years, the Department of Music has hosted a popular summer camp for children in grades 1-8. The department has worked with over 140 students this past week for the 2014 camp. Each year the children are divided into groups based on their ages, and they participate in choir as well as learn a variety of instruments. Activities and lessons included music technology, xylophone, handbells, piano, movement, recorder, beginning strings and guitar. This is a great summer activity to get children excited about music and the arts! Keep an eye on our Summers page next spring in order to sign up for camp early. Spots tend to fill quickly.











Campers enjoy a little outdoor activity and fun each day.



Rising Senior Program Provides Education and Enrichment

Summer for a high school student usually means beach time, taking family road trips, reading by the pool, etc., but several rising high school seniors chose to spend part of their summer earning college credit through the Rising Seniors Program.


The program is offered during the month of June and is designed for outstanding students who have completed their junior year of high school. Will Brantley, senior enrollment counselor, works closely with the program. He says, “The Rising High School Senior program is a great way for a student to experience what university life is really like.  It’s a fantastic experience of learning, growing in their faith and building community with other students.  Every year we have students that come to the Rising Senior Program and then when they come to Union as freshman, they choose to be roommates with the friends they made during this summer.  This is a program that helps students jump-start their university career and where they will make friends and memories that last a lifetime.”


This intensive summer program allows students the opportunity to earn up to seven semester hours of college credit, giving them an early start on their college career. The students take core curriculum classes such as English composition and college algebra during the program, and many also have the experience of living on campus. Gabby Zuckschwerdt, who just completed the program last Friday, says, “Wow! That pretty much sums up my experience so far here at Union! I can’t wait to hopefully attend here next fall!” Another participant in this year’s program, Samantha Barker, says, “During my time at Union, I have experienced nothing but wonderful things. I have attained some extremely valuable information and skills. The classes prepare you for the real college experience, and the residence life experience is truly remarkable. The decision to apply for the rising senior program will always be one of the most joy-filled and rewarding decisions I have ever made!”


During the month, the rising seniors are invited to a social event each Thursday to give them a chance to learn about different aspects of Union life. The final event is an ice cream social, where the students can celebrate the completion of their classes. To learn more about this summer program, visit



Students, Employees Gather to Cheer for USA in World Cup

The Office of Student Leadership and Engagement invited faculty, staff and students to gather in the Bowld Student Commons to watch the USA vs. Germany World Cup game today. While the USA didn’t have to win to advance to the next stage, everyone was rooting for a win. We had students decked out in red, white and blue and waving flags, and many employees spent their lunch break watching the excitement. We won’t spoil the game, in case you have it DVR-ed at home!

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Summer Sports Camps at Union University

Each summer at Union University, there are various summer camps taught by our coaches and athletic teams. Options include baseball, basketball, cheer, soccer, softball and volleyball. Several of the camps took place during the month of June, but there are still opportunities to sign up for the full week boarding basketball camp, several different soccer camps, softball boarding camp and volleyball camp. For more information about each of these, visit

These camps are an excellent way to teach children the fundamentals of these sports, but it also serves as a way to teach them the importance of teamwork. Other non-athletic camps and classes can be found here:

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Union University Welcomes Many for New Student Registration Day

Registration Day. You could describe it as hectic, jam-packed, overwhelming or any other term that basically means “busy,” but one word sums it up best: exciting. For some new students, it is the day when their journey to college starts to feel real. When we posted a photograph on Facebook of the morning orientation crowd, several alumni commented how well they remember their own registration day. It’s hard to forget the first time you registered for college classes, opened the door to your first college bedroom and met the roommates that may become your very best friends. These are moments that students never forget, and so many new students got to experience them Monday.



The day began with new students and their parents gathering in the gym for an introduction and instructions for the day. Everyone was treated to a light breakfast before moving on to other areas of campus.

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After leaving the gym, new students registered for classes with their advisors, learned about student organizations and received their residence assignments. During this time, parents of new students heard from leaders in several areas, such as University Ministries and the Vocatio Center for Life Calling and Career.

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Lunch was held in the chapel, where new students and their parents heard from Dr. Dub Oliver. This was his first registration day as president of Union University, and he spent much of his time greeting and welcoming guests. It was a great day for all involved, and the Union University family is very excited to see our new students back on campus in the fall!

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Barefoots Joe Summer Playlist on Spotify

Our on-campus coffee shop is known for serving excellent coffee, providing an inviting environment and constantly improving the experience of its customers. Another thing many people note about Barefoots Joe is the exceptional background music played each day, which adds to the aforementioned environment. Thanks to the online service Spotify, you can have your own Barefoots Joe playlist! They’ve just released their summer 2014 selections, and you can listen for free here:


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Dr. Dub’s First Day as President of Union University

On June 2, 2014, the 16th president of Union University celebrated his first official day.

The life of a university president is a very busy one, so we wanted to give Dr. Oliver and Mrs. Susie a chance to properly meet everyone before getting into the swing of things. The morning began with a wonderful breakfast reception in Barefoots Joe, and guests enjoyed delicious coffee, scones, fruit and chicken biscuits. After praying over the Olivers, employees were able to mingle with the president and first lady for most of the morning.

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During the evening, Union University and Jackson community leaders gathered at Providence House in Jackson for another welcoming reception called Bowties & Bulldogs. Dr. Dub and Susie, along with their daughter Callie, had the opportunity to meet key leaders of the city, and Mayor Gist officially welcomed them with a joint proclamation from the city and county mayors. The proclamation declared June 2, 2014, as “Samuel W. Oliver Day.” It was a joyful celebration of the Olivers and a perfect way to welcome them to their new home. We are looking forward to seeing God’s plan for the Olivers here!

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Special thanks to the Office of University Relations for making Bowties and Bulldogs such a successful event, and to Casey Jones Village for providing such a perfect setting.

11th Annual Student Film Festival


The annual Student Film Festival took place recently, marking its 11th year. Students who create films in the long-form, short-film and documentary categories submit their work each year for judging. The first evening of the festival includes a screening and directors’ talk, and the second evening includes a screening and awards. The event is a lot of fun for both the filmmakers and the audience!






Congratulations to all of the 2014 winners!

  • Long-form film: “Paradigm” by Gabe Farmer and Caleb Shore
  • Short-form film: “Hunter” by Josh Stephans
  • Documentary: “Sound On Film” by Ben Wright featuring Ivan & Alyosha’s All the Times We Had

Unique Set Design Contributes to ‘Hamlet’ Production


The Union University Players bring a new perspective to William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, running until March 25 in the W. D. Powell Theatre.

David Burke, professor of theatre and director of the play, said Hamlet not only engages audiences through its unique set design but also surprises them with storytelling twists.

Burke said the set was designed by John Klonowski, visiting assistant professor of theatre. Klonowski created the set to be flexible for the multiple scenes and moods of the play, incorporating various stage levels, special lighting and contrasting textiles into the design.


Klonowski and Burke began building the set in January alongside four student workers, Burke said. The team applied the finishing touches to the set March 18 – two days before the opening night.

“The set is a very unique piece of scenery – it’s almost like a giant piece of art,” Burke said. “I think it’s magical.”


But the stage design is not the only point of interest, Burke noted, as the Union University Players have personalized the tragic tale in order to find their own voice in the play. While the story continues to be set in Denmark, Burke avoided linking the play to a certain time in history. Performers also wear contemporary clothing instead of traditional Shakespearean garb.

“Our version of Hamlet doesn’t come across the way people normally think about it,” Burke said. “It forces you to think about the story from a different point of view.”

For more information about the performance, visit