LINCOLN–(KFOR Oct. 3)–By the end of the current school year, Union College in southeast Lincoln will have a new name for the first time in 132 years, after a vote was done Monday by the school’s Board of Trustees.

In a news release to KFOR News, Union College officials say the name will change over Union Adventist University, following a year’s worth of research.

“We believe this name will better communicate Union’s scope as we broaden our graduate offerings,” said Gary Thurber, board chair. “It also allows us to be distinct from the other colleges named Union while reaffirming our connection to a faith that puts service first and welcomes all who want to experience an outstanding Christian education.”

Union’s first graduate program, a Master of Physician Assistant Studies, launched 15 years ago and graduates 30 healthcare professionals each year. As Union started the process of launching three new graduate programs in 2023 and 2024, many faculty and alumni began to ask if this might be the right time to change the name to university.

“The Union College name carries a great legacy that is near and dear to all our hearts,” wrote Joe Allison, then president of the alumni association, in a survey asking for alumni opinions. “This same moniker has served our school since 1891 and will be hard to let go. But when we consider the current educational landscape and the advantages of embracing the university name, we believe it is worth considering.”

The majority of alumni, employees and students who responded to the surveys shared the opinion that Union should change its name.

The goal will be to officially transition to the new name in May 2024 — both to give adequate time to transition the campus and to avoid confusion among prospective students who have already begun the admissions process.

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