3 October 2023 |
In a historic move, Union College announced that they will undergo a name change to Union Adventist University as of May 2024. This landmark decision, the first in its 132-year history, was taken by the Board of Trustees on October 2nd, following an extensive year-long review.
The shift is seen as a response to Union’s expanding graduate programs, notably its flagship Master of Physician Assistant Studies, which was introduced 15 years ago. With three more graduate programs launching in 2023 and 2024, there has been growing sentiment among the faculty, alumni, and students that the transition to a “university” is timely. An alumni survey revealed substantial support for the change, highlighting the benefits of differentiation in today’s digital era.
Union College had faced challenges standing out in online searches, being one of several institutions bearing the “Union” name. The unanimous decision of the trustees was geared towards enhancing Union’s competitive edge. Professor of Religion Ben Holdsworth remarked on the name change, saying: “We have moved to the point of not just having programs that reflect the name university, but we have to acknowledge the fundamental shift in society that recognizes that the name university holds a higher value than the name college.”
Maintaining “Union” in the title preserves the institution’s long-standing identity and its ethos of unity and collective purpose. The addition of “Adventist” reflects the university’s roots and alignment with the Church’s mission of global service. The institution’s enduring commitment to service, faith, and learning is showcased in programs ranging from medical outreach at local soup kitchens to international disaster relief efforts.
The transition to the new name is set to commence behind the scenes, with a full changeover anticipated in May 2024.