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



Building names in Heritage honor former Baptist leaders

As freshmen start their first year at Union University, most live in the freshman housing of the Heritage Residence Complex. Each of the buildings in this complex is named after a prominent figure in Union’s history. Many of these men served on the university’s Board of Trustees, and most held prominent positions in other areas of Southern Baptist life. Their names on the buildings of the Heritage Residence Complex serve as reminders of the impact they had on Union and on Baptist history.


Craig – Robert Craig was president of Union University from 1967-1986. He was Union’s longest serving president and led the university in its move from downtown Jackson to its current location. He also served as president of Southwest Baptist University and East Texas Baptist University.

Dehoney –Wayne Dehoney was the pastor of First Baptist Church in Jackson during the 1950s and 1960s, during which time he served on the Board of Trustees at Union. He also served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1965-1966.

Dodd –M. E. Dodd graduated from Union and became the pastor of First Baptist Church of Shreveport, Louisiana.  He served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1934-1935 and led in the development of the Cooperative Program, the major funding initiative for Southern Baptist missions and ministries.

Grey – J. D. Grey was a graduate of Union who served for many years as pastor of First Baptist Church of New Orleans, Louisiana. He served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1952-1953.

Jarman – The Jarman family was a generous benefactor of Union. They founded Genesco, a large shoe manufacturing company in Nashville, and their financial contributions helped Union relocate the campus and build the Penick Academic Complex in 1975.

Lee – R.G. Lee was the pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis from 1927-1960 and was president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1949-1951. He served on the Board of Trustees of Union and is widely remembered for his sermons and books.

Paschall – H. Franklin Paschall was a graduate of Union who served as the pastor of First Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, from 1956-1983. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Union and as president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1967-1968.

Pollard –Ramsey Pollard was pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church from 1960-1972. He served as chairman of the Board of Trustees for Union during the time that the university bought the land for the current campus.  He also served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1960-1961.

Rogers – Adrian Rogers was pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church from 1972-2005 and served on the Board of Trustees at Union.  He was a prominent leader in the Southern Baptist Convention’s conservative resurgence and served twice as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, from 1979-1980 and from 1987-1988.

Sullivan – James L. Sullivan was a pastor and denominational leader who served on the Board of Trustees for Union. From 1953-1975, he served as president of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board (now LifeWay Christian Resources).

Wright –Frances E. Wright was a professor of education and academic dean at Union during the 1950s and 1960s and served as the university’s president from 1963-1967. He also served as the first president of Jackson State Community College.

*Former Union Vice President Bob Agee provided much of the background information for this story.


Story by Nathan Handley, photos by Kristi Woody

Photos: Christmas at Union

December at Union University is always filled with Christmas festivities for both students and employees. We’ve gathered some photos of events from the first week of December as well as photos of decorations around campus.

The week started off with the annual Storytime with the Olivers event in the McAfee Commons. The tradition of our president reading The Night Before Christmas has long been a favorite.



15121EW_Christmas Story2

On Tuesday night, employees enjoyed their annual Faculty & Staff Christmas Dinner followed by the Union Christmas concert. Prior to dinner, there were activities for the kids and a setup for family portraits.


The School of Pharmacy held its 3rd annual Trimming of the Tree with Dr. Dub.


Throughout the week, various areas on campus were decorated for the season including the Bowld Student Commons and the Brewer Dining Hall. On Thursday, Residence Life hosted Deck the Halls for students to decorate their individual buildings.



Photo submitted by: Jordan Chism


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.

Christmas with the Olivers

Each generation of students seems to create its own traditions, most likely brought on by changes in what’s considered “cool.” However, there are some traditions that rise above the cultural shifts and remain solid from year to year. One of those generation-spanning traditions is the reading of the Christmas story by the president. This year was the 18th time this event has occurred, but the first time it was called Christmas with the Olivers.

Christmas with the Olivers took place in the McAfee Commons, which was decorated with lights and stocked with plenty of cookies and hot cocoa. Students piled onto the couches, chairs and even the floor as Dr. Dub and Susie made their way in. To start off Dr. Dub asked students to share a few of their favorite Christmas traditions, which ranged from cooking special dishes to adding a new ornament to the tree with family. Next the entire group joined in singing a few carols such as Deck the Halls and The First Noel. Dr. Dub then took a minute to document the crowd (he tweeted the photo later). To wrap up the evening Dr. Dub read both The Night Before Christmas and Luke 2, followed by another carol, Silent Night, during which everyone gathered closely together and locked arms. It was a truly special evening, where students were able to celebrate Christmas with the president and first lady.

Dr. Dub speaking to residence life employees before the event

Students gathered in the commons to fellowship with the president and first lady

Dr. Dub chatting with students before the Christmas Story.

Dr. Dub leads in some Christmas Carols.

Dr. Dub and Susie singing carols with students.

Susie Oliver, first lady of Union, singing carols with students.

Dr. Dub leaning back to get a photo of the crowd of students in the commons.

Dr. Dub reading A Night Before Christmas.

Dr. Dub reading A Night Before Christmas

Hot chocolate mugs resting on the table by the president.

Dr. Dub reading Night Before Christmas.

Dr. Dub reading a passage from Luke 2.

Dr. Dub and Susie singing one final carol with students.

Dr. Dub and Susie standing in a circle with students singing a Christmas song.

First Year at UU – Deep-Fried Oreos and Freshman Experiences

Emily Johnson Portrait

Post by Emily Johnson, freshman biology major

Some days are good because your favorite song comes on the radio; some days are good because a quiz you forgot about is canceled; and some days are good because your residence building dominates in an epic battle of tug of war.

Tuesday, October 14 was one of those days.

Every year, the freshmen of Heritage Residence Complex compete in the highly momentous Deep-Fried Olympics with their fellow building residents.  As you might infer, the theme of the competition is decidedly Southern.  The evening provides an opportunity for everyone to unleash their inner “country girl/boy,” and flannel, overalls, and a plethora of camouflage are the preferred dress.  The first event, an obstacle relay race, involves a tire run and a trash-sack hurdle.  Next on the agenda is a Cricket Spit (yes, the crickets are alive and hopping), followed closely by a potato sack race.  The grand finale is a merciless tug of war. As teams prepared for battle, the intensity was palpable.  Everything hinged on this one event. The quiet before the “GO!” was broken only by hoarse commands to “Pull with your legs!” The competition was intense and laughter was loud as residents were hauled across the sopping wet grass.

As the points were being tallied, students merrily consumed corn-dogs and Oreos (properly deep-fried, of course).  A few began dancing to an impromptu Cotton-Eyed Joe.  When Resident Director Tim Call, emcee of the event, cleared his throat to begin the awards ceremony, a drumroll swelled. Apartments such as the Lads of Lee, the Dehoney Bees, the Men of Grey and the Beauties of Craig were suddenly united in their anticipation.  Surrounded by my fellow first-years, I was struck by the sense of camaraderie.

Union places most freshmen in the Heritage Residence Complex for the purpose of fostering community among first-year students. We are all sharing similar experiences of prolonged group projects, never-ending laundry and Olympics that are Deep-Fried. We are living life together. The Heritage complex at Union enables freshmen to share with one another the struggles, joys, and changes that inevitably make up freshman year. The Deep-Fried Olympics is just one of many events that freshmen get to experience together.

The first awards went to the best costumes, evoking much laughter and applause from the crowd of hillbillies. Tim Call next revealed the third and second place apartments, and they mounted the shaky victors’ platform of tires. Silence fell as Tim paused for dramatic effect. Finally he declared, “And our first place prize, the coveted Golden Toilet Seat, goes to: GREY AND CRAIG!” As the grimy champions shouted for joy and embraced one another, my RA proudly brandished the gilded testament to our victory. Covered in mud and shuddering in the October chill, I had never been prouder to be a Union freshman.

Photos of Deep Fried Olympics by MiKalla Cotton

studentblog-unionuniversity-reslife-01 studentblog-unionuniversity-reslife-02 studentblog-unionuniversity-reslife-03 studentblog-unionuniversity-reslife-04 studentblog-unionuniversity-reslife-05 studentblog-unionuniversity-reslife-06

New Student Move-in Day at Union University

Life Group leaders welcome new students to campus with signs and much excitement

Each year the entire Union University community comes together for one reason: to welcome its newest members. New students arrive on campus to the energetic cheering of several Life Group leaders. They and their families make their way to the Fred DeLay Gymnasium to check in with Residence Life for keys, as well as to collect car tags, post office box numbers, etc.. Once checked in, they head over to the residence complexes, only to find out that they no longer have the burden of unloading their belongings. The car/truck/trailer that took hours to pack, will take minutes to unpack due to the hundreds of faculty, staff, Union friends and upperclassmen who come to help unload. Anyone who has ever moved into Union will tell you what a relief that crowd of helpers is! We are wrapping up another fantastic move-in day, and new students are beginning Focus, which is full of fun activities to acquaint them with Union. We hope you enjoy these photos from the morning, and if you are a new student, welcome to Union!

Life Group leaders welcome new students to campus with signs and much excitement New students check in with res life to get their room keys New students check in with various departments on campus Karen Taylor welcomes new students and their families Renee Jones carries a box for a new student Union employees and student leaders help new students move in A sign is displayed in a window: Welcome to Union Life group leaders help new students move in Jim Avery helps a Union parent unload his truck. Campus is a buzz with activity on move-in day Buster carries a mirror up to a new student's room Buster doling out high-fives Buster posing with an SGA officer


Short video from the day:

DIY College Room Message Clipboards

Supplies set out on the floor

With new students moving in on Friday, we thought it would be helpful to share a cheap and easy DIY project for some apartment decor. Clipboards are a fun item to repurpose into wall decor, especially if you happen to have one laying around or in storage. Here is a full list of supplies that you need for this project, but you could also use paint, stickers or other decorative craft supplies to dress them up!

  • Clipboard (We used 3, just to try different designs, but 1 is fine)
  • 1 or more notepads
  • Washi tape (in Union red, of course!) We had to get ours online through Etsy.
  • Hot glue gun and glue stick
  • Blue painter’s tape
  • Chalkboard spray paint (You can also brush this on, but spraying avoids brush marks in the finished product)

Now that you’ve got your supplies, let’s get down to business. This only takes about an hour, and that’s a leisurely hour complete with trips to the kitchen for coffee and a little Instagram perusing.

Clipboards taped off using painters tape to cover areas not to be painted.

First, you want to tape off your clipboards for painting. Choose where you want the chalkboard to be and tape everything else. The one with the diagonal lines of tape is a little trickier, so we did the washi tape first on that one (not pictured). Try to press the tape down pretty well so there isn’t any bleeding. You can also use a piece of thick paper to cover a large portion, so that you don’t use as much tape, just make sure you tape the edge down.

Applying the chalkboard paint using a spray can

Spray your chalkboard paint outside or in a very well-ventilated area. We recommend finding a sidewalk and laying out cardboard or something similar to paint on. We don’t recommend spraying directly on concrete, since you can’t clean that up easily, or on grass.

Applying the washi tape

Boards shown with washi tape and chalkboard paint applied

Apply your washi take when your paint dries. Be creative with this! The one with diagonal lines was just done spontaneously, so you don’t have to follow that design exactly. You could also paint different areas if you prefer bigger sections of chalkboard. The tape at the edge of the chalkboard paint helps cover any bleeding that might have occurred (confession: we had bleeding).

Hot glue notepads to clipboards

Finally, hot glue any notepads, post-its, pockets, calendars, etc., that you want to have on your wall. The possibilities are endless! Before you write on your chalkboards, you’ll want to run some chalk over them and then erase it once. This is just a preparation step, and we know from experience that you can use a paper towel if you lose your eraser.

Applying the chalk to prepare the board
Finished message boards

And there you have it! These are perfect for leaving notes for your roommates, displaying your schedule or even some fun photos of you and your friends at a basketball game. Be sure to keep that Union school spirit alive, and let everyone know how much you love your Bulldogs!

To celebrate all of our new students coming in, we are having a room decor contest over on Pinterest. If you’re a Union student, enter this contest for a chance to win these 3 clipboards plus a $10 Barefoots card!