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Union Univ. increases aid to students from state’s churches

JACKSON, Tenn. (BP)–Union University will provide a four-year scholarship of $3,200 beginning in the fall of 2003 to all incoming freshmen who are members of Tennessee Baptist Convention churches, the university’s president, David S. Dockery, has announced.

The annual award of $800 is available to new students who have been members of TBC churches for at least 12 months.

Dockery said the university decided to increase the scholarship significantly to demonstrate in very clear terms that “we want students from Tennessee Baptist Convention churches to come to Union.”

“This is a way for Union University to say thank you to the TBC and the churches of the TBC for their ongoing support of Christian higher education at Union University,” Dockery said. “This investment in students from TBC churches will continue to strengthen the long-term relationship between Union and the TBC.”

Tennessee Baptists applauded the decision, including Adrian Rogers, pastor of the Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church.

“Union University has one more time taken the lead to establish itself as a leader in Christian education,” Rogers said. “Tennessee Baptists can be grateful for this generous and needed scholarship offer for students who desire and deserve quality Christian education.”

Ronnie Wilburn, executive director of Shelby Baptist Association of Churches and president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, commended Dockery and the university for affirming its relationship with the TBC.

“I believe this will be a great incentive for young people from our Tennessee Baptist churches to attend Union University,” Wilburn said. “It is encouraging to see a Baptist university make that kind of commitment to our students. Two of my children went to Union so I know the benefit of an education there.”

Chuck Frazier, pastor of Harpeth Heights Baptist Church in Nashville and a Union trustee, said the announcement affirms Union’s commitment to providing a quality academic institution of higher learning to Tennessee Baptists.

“Union University is among a select handful of universities in which academic excellence and Christian commitment have been brought together into a dynamic unity,” he said. “Union’s integration of intellectual and spiritual development fosters an environment that produces students who are equipped with a Christ-centered worldview. Personally, I have witnessed Union’s students move out from their campus as radically committed followers of Christ who are impacting contemporary culture with the claims of Christ.”

Union is the nation’s oldest Southern Baptist university, dating back to 1823. Among its most prominent graduates is M.E. Dodd, founder of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program.

The university is listed as a top tier of best universities in U.S. News and World Report and is recognized in the Templeton Guide: Colleges That Encourage Character Development.

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  • Chris Allen