This past Friday Sarah and I headed out before the chickens got up to head to Union University. They are about 2 1/2 hours west of us and with check in at 7:45am, well you can do the math.
After Sarah and I had our showers and got all pretty, we decided to start the day out with mugs of hot tea for our road trip. It's pretty chilly at 5 in the morning and the caffeine in the tea served as a pick me up.
When we arrived in Jackson, we were greeted with a beautiful campus. I believe the new buildings are at the front of the campus, near the main entrance. This makes for a nice first impression and good photo ops at the end of the day.
After a brief speech from the president, we started off with a walking tour of the campus. It took about an hour as the campus is quite spread out. The new buildings at the front of campus look beautiful inside- those are for the nursing/pharmacy, sciences, and christian studies/music.
During the tour we got to look inside two different dorms. These by far are Sarah's favorite dorms. They have it set up that four students are in a dorm. Each student has their own private room that is spacious with a good deal of storage and place to study. They all share one bathroom, living room, and kitchenette. In the newer dorms they also have washer/dryer in the apartment and the older dorms have a laundry facility nearby in the main rec room. One thing I did notice about Union dorms is the abundance of hammocks hanging outside off various building beams/staircase railings. Sarah really liked the idea of having her own private room where she could shut the door to study but still have 3 roommates to make friends with.
Union is a Southern Baptist private university. With that, they have chapel twice a week with the students being required to attend at least 14 chapels during the semester. They swipe the ID cards before entering the chapel. Chapel lasts an hour with students leading a few worship songs and at least for this service, a guest speaker giving a message. Interesting to see it be a requirement, but I didn't notice students who seemed to be "upset or bored" by having to be there. I would say most that go to Union really like the chapel portion and don't find it confining. Sarah did like the service and found it to be in line with what we do back in our church.
Right before lunch, we had a session with the department of education to go over their program. Unfortunately, they do not offer the 4 +1 like Belmont, but it overall seemed like a good program. They do take the approach, like in other classes to view their subject through a Christian worldview. This is one of the reasons Union appealed to Sarah and we did like this approach to their studies.
At the end of the day we did endure a very boring presentation of admission/financial aid. I think since we have gone through so many campus visits, the information is quite redundant. We know about the major deadlines, the FAFSA, ACT/SAT, competitive scholarships, need based aid, etc.... It was one of those cases where the presentation seemed to never end- ha ha! It did manage to end and we finished up our day with some great pictures at the front of the campus.
Since it was "Happy Hour" at Sonic, we grabbed some drinks for the long ride home. While driving, Sarah stated that Belmont is still her top pick with I believe Union being 2nd or 3rd. We still have a few more visits and lots of praying before we will know where we know Sarah will be next year. I appreciate any and all prayers that can be said on her behalf for this important decision.