Snow Days – January 2018

Union University has experienced an unusually snowy and cold January so far. The days off have given students and alumni in the area plenty of opportunities to get out and play in the snow. Here are a few of our favorite photos taken by our staff photographer, Kristi Woody, as well as photos submitted by students and alumni.

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Below are images submitted by students and alumni in the area.

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Campus Under Ice and Snow

A residence hall in the snow.

Post by Kristi Woody, photographer and social media coordinator

As a student, I am certain that this week would have been something I could only dream about. Three days out of class and perfect sledding conditions? What more could a college student ask for?! As an employee, however, I’ve had a different reaction to our recent wintery situation. I can only handle so many days of what I call the “couch potato life,” and two days is my threshold. By Wednesday, I was ready to get out! Unfortunately my dead car battery had other plans. I talked my friend and coworker Sarah Belcher, graphic design specialist here at Union, into picking me up a little ways outside of my neighborhood, and we trekked over to campus. The main roads were clear, so we had no trouble. We spent some time walking around the Great Lawn area for me to take photos of the campus with a blanket of snow on it. It was just such a relief to be out of the house and looking at something other than an HGTV Property Brothers marathon! The time off really made me appreciate the environment that I work in here at Union. This is a place that I look forward to coming to each morning, not only for the work that I do, but for the people I’m surrounded by in this Godly place. It doesn’t hurt that it looks so lovely covered in snow!

I hope you all enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. Oh and, spring, if you’re listening, come quickly!

You can also browse the photos that our followers posted on Twitter and Instagram by searching the hashtag #UUicedin

The fountain area in the snow Ice on Miller Tower Students make their way across campus with makeshift sleds Miller Tower on a winter day The great lawn in the snow White Hall in the snow Miller Tower in the snow

Lest We Forget: A New Tradition

Post by Jared Dauenhauer, assistant director of student leadership & engagement 

One of my favorite places on campus is the Carl Grant Events Center. It houses one of the best places I’ve found to meditate and reflect, Heritage Center. Most of us at Union may take a glance or two at this place, and I believe many of us, myself included, have failed to recognize its significance.

Heritage Center contains a visual timeline that spans three walls and almost 200 years of Union University history. I look at the faces and think of the stories of a time past at Union. When I look at the faces of past leaders and past students, I’m instantly reminded of a scene from one of my favorites movies: Dead Poet’s Society. In this scene, Mr. Keating has his students look to the students of the past and try to understand their legacy.

It is incredibly important to remember the past and the legacy that has been passed down to us. It makes us think about what legacy we will pass down. It’s the same question I ask myself when I visit the halls and annals of Union’s storied past. When I look at that timeline, I wonder what keeps us going? What is so important that we must continue to keep our doors open to generation after generation of students? Why have we rebuilt from fires, wars and tornadoes? What legacy or what story is really being told here?

Recently I sat down with students and staff members to answer these questions. Together we poured through old newspapers, yearbooks and documents trying to ultimately determine what legacy is being whispered to us. As in that scene you just watched, I believe there came about a moment in each of our journeys that we leaned into our past and heard: “Lest We Forget.” In research of this phrase we found homages to old poems and many wartime references to soldiers that had fallen in wars. While the phrase does not find it roots in our direct past, Union has certainly adopted it.

Unfortunately, we do the very thing that this phrase tells us not to do. We forget that the legacy Union plays a role in didn’t start in 1823 with the creation of the Jackson Male Academy. We fail to see the timeline that stretches beyond our almost 200-year history. Union’s story has always been the story of God’s faithfulness through Christ. Yes, there have been many faithful men and women in the legacy of Union, but they want us to look at the faithfulness of God as seen through our institution. They want us to see God’s work here, God’s faithfulness that was in place before Union University existed.

The thing about stories and legacies is that they are forgotten when they are not frequently read or expressed. Inspired by this reflection on Union’s past, an event was born that is to be held at the beginning of every academic year. What did we call it? You guessed it… Lest We Forget.

During this new tradition, we practice, we remember and we set ourselves up to continue to remember what the Lord has done for us. The details of this tradition are for those who have the honor of ever being a Unionite, but the message is for everyone reading this post. When we look to Union, when we look to our past and look to our future, we see the hands of God pointing us to Christ. As members of this institution we join in Union’s legacy and in the greater story propelled by our Creator, and we tell it to the world. When we forget, as we are apt to do, we see the loving words of our Lord echoing, whispering through the men and women who came before us, saying “Lest We Forget.”

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Barefoots Joe: Refreshed

Barefoots Joe with some updates.

Over the summer, the team at Barefoots Joe gave everyone’s favorite coffee shop a little face-lift. Here’s what Joy Moore, director of Barefoots Joe, had to say about the updates:

“The Barefoots Leadership Team, along with the barista supervisors and director, painted Barefoots to offer a fresher, more modern feel. To accommodate more people (we often run out of seating and are asked to provide more tables), we added four new two-person tables, as well a new bar-height counter. Above the stage, we hung a wooden sign, and Katie Williams hand-illustrated our name in the corner. We replaced couch cushions, added a new light fixture, and removed the blinds. Student Levi Hartsfield built the tables, bar, and sign in collaboration with Joy Moore. The students involved are proud of their work, and their investment creates a deeper sense of ownership in the work of Barefoots to help shape community and culture on campus.”

The atmosphere, which was already wonderful and inviting, has improved with the changes. The couch areas are still great places to gather with friends, and the new tables are perfect for having one-on-one chats. If you haven’t already been by to check it out, maybe an iced coffee run is in order!

 

Students mingle in Barefoots Joe A student works on her computer in Barefoots Joe. The new wooden sign above the stage in Barefoots Joe Students mingle and hang out in Barefoots Joe. Matthew Marshall meets with a student in Barefoots Joe. A students studies in one of the study areas in Barefoots Joe Scones at Barefoots Joe, available on Thursdays. Students study and purchase coffee at Barefoots Joe

Snow, Ice Mix Blankets the Jackson Campus

Snow isn’t very common around West Tennessee, but occasionally, we get a nice dusting on campus. This particular time was actually accompanied by quite a bit of ice! Classes were cancelled for two days, so students had a nice break to catch up on work (and sleep). Despite the hazards and inconveniences caused by ice and snow, it makes for some beautiful pictures. Our staff photographer, Morris Abernathy, ventured out in the cold to get these shots around campus.

Metal angel sculpture on campus with Miller tower in the background