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Union trustees OK new dorms; Union Foundation organizes

GERMANTOWN, Tenn.Sept. 29, 2006 – Union University trustees approved the university’s plans to build a new housing complex to accommodate its increasing enrollment.

The action came at the Sept. 29 trustee meeting held on Union’s campus in Germantown, Tenn. Trustees also welcomed the board members from the Union Foundation, who held their inaugural meeting the night before.

“Our student housing is filled to capacity,” Union President David S. Dockery said. “This new complex will allow for Union’s future growth into the next decade.”

The new complex will include both men’s and women’s facilities and will likely be located on the west side of Walker Road, adjacent to the Union intramural field.

Union trustees empowered a committee to complete plans for the dorms. The new facilities will be either three or four stories, and will be “hotel-style” instead of the existing “motel-style” dorms. That means in the new dorms, all rooms will be accessible only from the interior of the building, rather than the exterior.

Each room will include four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room. Plans are for the dorms to be completed no later than the fall of 2008.

The board of directors for the Union University Foundation spent their first meeting getting organized. Union University trustees in April approved the creation of the foundation and in August approved the list of people who would be invited to serve on the foundation board.

Charles Fowler, Union’s senior vice president for university relations, will serve as the foundation’s executive director.

“The Union University Foundation exists for the exclusive benefit of Union University,” Fowler said. “It’s going to be serving as an asset manager for the institution and is going to become the face of our planned giving efforts. It will hopefully expand our donor base and it will provide some new leadership and service opportunities for friends.”

A majority of the foundation’s 16-member board of directors will be either Union trustees or former trustees, according to the operating agreement between the university and the foundation.

Fowler said the foundation will be involved with such projects as a planned giving campaign, charitable gift annuities and trusts.

“Before the foundation’s creation, we couldn’t manage those things in house,” Fowler said. “The foundation will allow us to receive those planned gifts and to manage them internally, which is a significant benefit for the institution.”

In other business, Union trustees re-elected Harry Smith as chairman of the board, Jerry Tidwell as vice chairman and Peggy Graves as secretary. The board also honored the work of four trustees who have served the university for a combined total of more than 60 years by naming Bill Adcock, Pete Wilson, Jack Porter and Shelby Massey as emeritus trustees.

The board unanimously affirmed Dockery’s leadership and the direction of the university, including a reaffirmation of Union’s statement of faith.

Trustees also expressed deep disappointment in the initial decision of the Tennessee Baptist Convention’s Budget Committee and Executive Board to cut $750,000 from the budget allocations for Union, Carson-Newman College and the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home to pay for the legal fees involved in the TBC’s dispute with Belmont University.

Dockery thanked the trustees for their “wonderful support for the university” and for an outstanding meeting.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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