As a Mid-America academy in in the early 1990s, I had no intention of attending Union College. Just coming out of the worst of the debt years, Union suffered from a shrunken enrollment and a less-than-ideal reputation.
But in what has been a long-standing tradition for Adventist academy students, I made the annual 600-mile trek from Bismarck, N.D., to Lincoln with schoolmates for music festivals and academy days. And slowly, maybe even imperceptibly, my attitude began to shift.
Was it the storied buildings, run down as funds had been diverted to pay off debt? The surrounding city—much larger than any I previously called home? Or the nearly obsolete computer terminals in every room?
Hardly. I found myself almost inexplicably drawn to Union by the connections I made on each campus visit—the students I stayed with, the band and choir directors, the professors. Their friendship and influence brought me to Union even though I had to alter my chosen career path (television broadcasting) to study here.
The connections I made through the communication program led to a career working for the Adventist church, and ultimately back to Union as director of public relations more than five years ago. When the call came from LuAnn Davis asking me to return to Lincoln, I didn’t have to think very long or hard about coming back to work with friends.
Union looks a lot different 20 years later. A much larger and more diverse student population thrives in many new and updated facilities. Unique academic programs bring students from all over the world. But one thing hasn’t changed: the connections.
This issue of CORDmagazine comprises stories from alumni who graduated with degrees from the Division of Business and Computer Science. Invariably, they trace the roots of their success back to connections made during their time at Union.
So as you enjoy their stories, contemplate the many ways you can stay connected to your alma mater in those long months between issues of CORDmagazine. We have developed a plethora of social media channels for every taste—written text, photos video, live events—so you can stay connected to the place and the people who had
a major influence on your life.
By Ryan Teller ’98