Dr. John Wagner served as Union College's 25th president from 1986-1991, and returned as our 28th president in 2012.
One of the best parts of my job is talking about the great experience students have at Union College. Here are a few aspects of Union College I welcome every opportunity to share.
Spiritual connection. Union’s student-led Campus Ministries programs give many opportunities for spiritual involvement and discipleship training. Union offers a traditional Seventh-day Adventist environment, providing a strong framework for making wise spiritual decisions. Strong ties with welcoming local churches means over 90 percent of Union’s students voluntarily join in worship weekly. At Union students take ownership of their Christian experience. Adventist young people often leave the church after attending college, but we find that’s not true at Union. Five years after graduation most young alumni are very involved with their local church and continuing their spiritual growth.
Academic quality. Union’s academic programs are strong, and for the third year in a row Union is rated a top tier college in its regional category by U.S.News and World Report. One hundred percent of Union’s 2008 pre-med graduates were accepted to medical school and four students were accepted into health professions programs (dentistry, podiatry and physical therapy). With a student-to-teacher ratio of 13-to-1, students have direct interaction with professors who will challenge and mentor them.
Service learning. Union is in the top 3 percent of colleges and universities in the country for volunteerism and service learning as designated by the 2007 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Union sponsors Project Impact, the longest running, highest participation collegiate community service day in the country. Union students serve locally by regularly feeding the homeless, operating a foot clinic and bringing joy to long-term care residents. Globally, students share their time and skills through the Frontier Nursing class, international rescue and relief program and as student missionaries.
Career preparation. Union College students choose from more than 50 majors and emphases in 27 disciplines or they can create a personalized degree. Union’s graduates are sought by graduate and professional degree programs as well as employers in many fields, including health care, education, communication, social work, business and international rescue and relief. We are committed to helping students face the challenges of a global marketplace where change is the only constant. Since student leadership is a defining value of the Union College experience, students here develop leadership abilities and learn to become change agents in a changing world.
Safe, urban campus. Union’s capital city location offers a safe and enriching environment for study, work and play. The 50-acre, tree-covered campus in the College View community is known for its friendly and safe atmosphere. At a time when campus security is increasingly important, Union College feels fortunate to have a Lincoln police station located adjacent to campus and a consistently positive safety record. Union recently installed a campus emergency alert system and has a crisis management plan in place. Our location close to downtown Lincoln means students have access to many off-campus jobs, internships and cultural experiences within 10 minutes of campus.
Positive change. A four-year degree at Union offers students the chance to grow in ways that can’t be matched by a community college or big public university. The friends made at Union, both students and professors, become important to the fabric of our graduates’ lives. Union’s goal is for students to reach their full God-given potential—not just by teaching them in a classroom, but empowering them to make wise choices that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
Alumni support. According to a national student survey, Union students rank above the national norm in their satisfaction with their experience at Union, and they rate Union in the top 10 percent for supportive campus environment. This may explain why Union has the highest rate of alumni giving participation for colleges in its Carnegie Foundation classification. Alumni who graduate from Union typically have such a great experience they become an incredibly loyal and spirited group who give back to their school and still sing the school song.
Value investment. Union’s location in the affordable Great Plains means tuition is in the lower third among Adventist colleges and our high level of support from alumni and friends allows us to have the lowest tuition of any independent college in Nebraska. Union’s new scholarships make a college education here an even better value; actual out-of-pocket costs may be less for the same or better quality of other colleges.
If you or someone you love is facing a decision about higher education, we invite you to learn more about Union College. To set up a free campus visit or ask questions about campus, please contact one of our enrollment advisors at 800.228.4600 or e-mail ucenroll [at] ucollege [dot] edu.
We hope you sense the spirit of Union College as you browse this Web site. And we hope you will come visit our campus and Experience the Spirit for yourself.
John Wagner, president