Mount Union Officially Transitions
August 1, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010 marked a historical milestone in Mount Union’s history. The four-year private institution, located in Ohio, transitioned from Mount Union College to University of Mount Union.
Dr. Richard F. Giese, President of the University Mount Union
Randall C. Hunt, Chair of the Board of Trustees
Daniel Griffith '99, President of Alumni Council
More than 100 guests were in attendance to officially commemorate the momentous occasion. On Sunday afternoon, after a brief ceremony, the transition was kicked-off with the unveiling of the newly-etched Tomsich Entrance Gates featuring the University of Mount Union name, located on the corner of State Street and Clark Avenue.
“We stand here today in a position of great strength with an extraordinary opportunity before us,” said Dr. Richard F. Giese, president of Mount Union during the unveiling ceremony. “We are primed to reach new heights, to form an institution that inspires young minds for engagement in our 21st century world. In the years that come, we can further foster what is already outstanding to ensure an even more exceptional future for the institution as a whole, and more importantly, for our students who are at the heart of our very existence.”
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Chair Randall C. Hunt ’75 expressed with the audience his passion, support and honor of the institution.
“As an alumnus of the institution and chair of the Board of Trustees, I believe whole-heartedly in our mission, a mission to prepare students for meaningful work, fulfilling lives and responsible citizenship,” said Hunt. “Today is another example of our commitment to these words.”
The change to university came after careful review of data gathered through numerous research efforts and thoughtful consideration and discussion, and was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees this past October. Mount Union is not alone in making a change to its institution’s history, as more than 500 private colleges have become universities in the last 30 years.
Research indicates that today’s college-bound students view a “university” as an institution that offers increased opportunity and variety, as well as a higher level of prestige, a broader academic curriculum and better-qualified graduates. In addition, internationally, the word “university” is synonymous with higher education and “college” is equated with high schools or technical institutions. The designation of “university” also best describes what Mount Union is today and more effectively communicates all that the institution has to offer.
“If the change to university is paired with increased expectations for variety, opportunity and academic prestige, I can say, without a doubt, that we live up to the hype,” said Dr. Patricia Draves, vice president for academic affairs and dean. “We are an institution that is relentlessly relevant and deliberately dynamic.”
The growth of the institution over the past few decades has included increased enrollment, innovative academic programs and new facilities, but as Dan Griffith, a 1999 graduate of Mount Union and president of Alumni Council noted, the essence of the institution will remain the same.
“As we commemorate this milestone and look to the future, we do so with sincere reverence for the past,” said Griffith. “Change is never easy, and as an alumnus of the institution, bidding Mount Union College farewell is somewhat bittersweet – and not just because I have to buy all new t-shirts. Yet I know in my heart that this change does not in any way indicate a departure from the Mount Union we all know and love. The name may be changing, but the essence will remain the same.”
Adam Hood, a senior business administration major and president of Student Senate of Barberton, OH, expressed his support for the change as well. “I am now a senior, and even though my years as a student at Mount Union are coming to an end, the benefits of this change will last long into the future,” said Hood. “To be quite frank, anything that improves the reputation and visibility of the institution benefits me personally because it enhances the value of my degree and the education I was fortunate enough to receive. For that, I will be forever grateful.”
To conclude the ceremony, the newly-etched Tomsich Entrance Gates were revealed featuring the University of Mount Union name.
“On behalf of the entire university, I would like to thank all of you joining us in the commemoration of this tremendous moment in our history,” said Giese. “As we move forward with the transition, it is important to emphasize that those enduring characteristics we all cherish will continue to be hallmarks of the Mount Union experience – focus on attracting quality students and faculty, provide a sense of community and emphasize value of a well-rounded education combined with practical experience.”Back to Previous Page