Family Weekend Photos – 2018

Last weekend was our annual Family Weekend. There were various family-oriented events on campus such as a corn-hole tournament, ultimate frisbee game, and Union Night with fireworks. Here are some of our favorite photos from the events of the weekend.

Photos by Kristi Woody, Joey Echeverria, Nikki Grim, Lynn Tucker



Students Celebrate Arbor Day by Expanding Union Arboretum

Mark Bolyard, university professor of biology, and Michael Schiebout, associate professor of biology, went out this week with about 15 students to plant nine varieties of trees around campus to celebrate Arbor Day.

These additions bring the total trees in the Union University Arboretum to about 60. Students also helped place signs beside existing trees on campus, which will help educate visitors on what is planted here. Bolyard said he looks forward to continuing this tradition for Campus and Community Day each fall and Arbor Day each spring.


The trees planted this week:

  1. Two Monkey Puzzle trees. These are endangered in their native range, and there are few of them planted in the state of Tennessee. They are unusual looking evergreen trees native to Chile (pictured above).
  2. Two small Catalpa trees, with plans to add a third one, which should become medium sized flowering trees.
  3. Shumard oak, which should have nice fall color.
  4. Burr oak
  5. Warei oak
  6. Black poplar
  7. Black Alder
  8. Kentucky coffee tree
  9. Basswood, which replaces a tree near the BAC that was struggling.


Student Life Photos

Over the past few weeks, our student photographers have been hard at work capturing events across campus. In between those assignments, they’ve also photographed many student life moments. Here are some fun photos from our four student photographers taken during their time on campus and during some Residence Life activities.

Photos by Elizabeth Wilson, Gretchen Foels, Morgan Morfe and Janelle Vest

Students Invited into Faculty, Staff Homes for Be Our Guest

Six students gathered around a meal of beef bourguignon, risotto and homemade bread at David and Nancy Thomas’ home last week.


The meal was part of Be Our Guest, where faculty and staff invite students into their homes for an evening of food and fellowship. More than 20 faculty and staff members had students in their homes as part of the event.

“Be Our Guest allows the faculty and staff another way to care for the students,” said Grace Pepper, senior English literature major. “By welcoming us into their homes, preparing delicious food and engaging us in lively conversation, they demonstrate their desire, even outside of the classroom, to cultivate relationships with us.”

Grace, one of the students at the Thomas’ house, said she especially enjoyed the conversation at the dinner table, which ranged from Neil Young to the Memphis botanical gardens to Seinfeld. She has been a guest at the Thomas’ house for the past three years, and she said they are always generous and hospitable.

“My evenings at their home have become some of my favorite in my time at Union,” Grace said. “The company is always most delightful, and the food is an added bonus.”

Beth Adams, junior English and history major, was also a guest at the Thomas’ home.

Beth chose to go to their house after getting to know Dr. Thomas through his class on the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.

“I love any opportunity to talk with both Dr. and Mrs. Thomas,” she said. “My favorite part of the evening was after dinner, when we all ventured into the living room to browse their bookshelves and share book recommendations.”

Beth said she was glad to see every student included in the conversation. She said Be Our Guest demonstrates that Union’s faculty and staff care genuinely for their students.

“When faculty and staff members take time to connect with students outside of the classroom, we students learn so much more,” she said.

Story by Nathan Handley, Photos by Kristi Woody


Residence Life Field Day and The 2015 Union Cup

On Monday evening, the Residence Life team hosted Field Day outside of the Bowld Student Commons. Over the course of the year, teams of students represented their residence hall buildings in competitions. In each competition, the teams could win points toward the final prize: The Union Cup. Two teams were neck and neck throughout the year, and the final points earned at Field Day were crucial for winning. Ultimately the men of Grey won the cup, with Ayers 1 picking up second place. Both teams did excellently and made their RAs proud!

Eleven buildings were represented in the final competition, which consisted of four relays. The prize that came along with the spectacular trophy was a steak dinner for the winning team. Winners of the individual relays also won prizes such as candy and gift cards. Congratulations to the winners! 

Below are several photos taken during Field Day. Click image to make it large and scroll through the gallery.

Residence Life Team Makes January Term Exciting for Students

With January term coming to a close at the end of this week, we thought we’d re-cap some of the events that took place this month. J-term, like our summer terms, lasts only one month. Students usually take one or two classes, and cram the lecture time, studying and essay writing into one month. It’s an incredibly smart way to get extra credits out of the way, but it’s hard work.

Luckily for the on-campus students, Residence Life puts in some hard work as well! The res-life team organized events for each Thursday evening to give students a chance to take a break and have fun. The first event was the ping pong tournament, followed by a Bunko tournament and finally a Union University version of The Amazing Race, which took students all over campus hunting for clues.

Photos below are from all three events, starting with the ping pong tournament. Thanks for all your hard work, Residence Life!

Ping Pong paddles ready to go for the Res-life tournamentTim Call welcomes ping pong players and spectators to the tournament

Students participate in a ping pong tournament in the Bowld Commons

Students participate in a ping pong tournament in the Bowld Commons Students participate in a Ping Pong tournament in the Bowld Student Commons. Students watch and keep score for the Ping Pong tournament in the Bowld.

The next set of photos is from the Bunko tournament

Students play Bunko in the Bowld Student Commons gym Students play Bunko in the Bowld Student Commons gym Students play Bunko in the Bowld Student Commons gym One of the Bunko tournaments set up and ready for players Students play Bunko in the Bowld Student Commons gym Students play Bunko in the Bowld Student Commons gym Students play Bunko in the Bowld Student Commons gym

Finally, The Amazing Race. RAs were stationed all over campus, equipped with challenges for the teams and clues for the next location. Challenges included burpees, finding gum in a whipped cream pie and blowing a bubble with it (without using your hands), solving a math problem and retrieving a brick from the bottom of the pool. The students went all out on the challenges, and it was impressive how quickly they solved the clues to find the next challenge location!

Kayla McKinney lays out the rules of the Amazing Race game that took students all over campus. One team gets their clue for the next location in the Amazing Race game around campus. A student completes a physical challenge for the Amazing Race on campus Students complete a challenge during the Amazing Race event Students complete a quiz for a challenge in the Amazing Race game A team tries to solve a riddle in the Amazing Race game on campus A student dives into the pool for the last challenge of the Amazing Race.