Union’s Dr. David Dockery Reflects on Nearly 20 Years as President

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JACKSON, Tenn.- He has been at the helm of Jackson’s Union University for almost two decades. Saturday, David Dockery will spend his last day on campus as he graduates the Class of 2014. On his next to last day as president of Union University, Doctor David Dockery packs up two decades of memories. “Memories from students, all those are going into boxes as a way to carry union university with us in our hearts to our new assignment.” For the past 18 years, Union has seen tremendous growth New buildings have sprung up and enrollment has doubled. He said the success is because of the university’s faculty and staff. “They are high-powered serious about their calling, work at the best level in their discipline. I don’t know how you replace people like I have had the privilege of serving with,” said Dockery. Doctor Dockery said Union has experienced many triumphs but remembers how not one but two tornadoes struck the north Jackson campus. “2002 seemed like a big deal at the time, but looking back upon on it it was rather small compared to the trauma we experienced February 5th, 2008. No lives were lost…this community rallied around us. We will always forever and ever be grateful for everyone who helped us,” said Doctor Dockery. During his final graduation as president, Dockery said he will mark a pretty amazing milestone sometime during the ceremony. “When I shake hands with these graduates, somewhere along the way I will shake hands with the 15,000th graduate during my tenure here. That’s an amazing thing to consider,” said Dockery. Doctor Dockery said he has high hopes for Union as he passes the baton to his successor. “There are good days ahead for Union. We hope there are good days ahead for us, but certainly we celebrate great days in the past. It’s been almost been a Camelot-type experience. It’s been too good to be true,” said Dockery. Dr. Dockery’s retirement will actually be no retirement at all. He takes over as president of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, on June 1. On that same day, Dr. Samuel Oliver will become president of Union. Oliver is leaving East Texas Baptist University.

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