By Tim Ellsworth
Union University News Office
JACKSON, Tenn. — Hundreds of Union University students, alumni, employees, trustees and friends gathered in front of The Logos Nov. 6 to dedicate and open the new library on the university campus.
“The building of this library, The Logos, has been made possible by the many people who have used their blessings from God to bless Union University,” said Bill Latimer of Union City, Tennessee, who provided the lead gift of $10 million for the building through the Bill and Carol Latimer Charitable Foundation. “We pray that God will bless not only these people, but all of those who attend Union University and all who will walk into this beautiful library.”
The name of the library, “The Logos,” comes from the Greek word for “word” and is used as a description of Jesus in John 1. More than 1,500 people donated to the project.
Union University President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver cited Winston Churchill, who once said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”
“It has been a tremendous blessing in my life to have a hand in shaping this building, ‘The Logos,’ and now to see it shape us,” Oliver said.
The Union president noted how the exterior brick pattern on The Logos is slightly different from the other buildings on the Great Lawn in that every seventh row of brick is raised and set apart.
“In this one simple act, we are symbolizing a deep truth – that deep truth that there is a pattern to God’s creation,” Oliver said. “Six days we are to work, and on the seventh day, we are to take Sabbath, to rest, to worship. Buildings, even in the pattern of the bricks, can shape us more into who God created us to be.”
The three-story, 53,000-square-foot facility is a state-of-the-art academic resource center for the university featuring expanded space for library holdings, study and meeting rooms, the Modero coffee shop, administration offices and archives. The building was designed by TLM Associates, and H&M Construction was the lead contractor.
Union’s previous library, the Emma Waters Summar Library, opened in the Penick Academic Complex in 1975 when the university’s campus moved to its current location.
Though the library was renovated several times over the next 40 years, it stayed in the same location while the size of the university increased significantly, noted Anna Beth Morgan, Union’s library director.
In 2010, Union trustees agreed to study the feasibility of a new library and voted the following year to move forward on the project. Construction officially began July 1, 2014.
“Today we come together to celebrate all of these milestones,” Morgan said. “We meet together to dedicate this building to the glory of God. We pledge our commitment to educate young men and young women so that they may serve faithfully throughout all this world in the 21st century.”
Holly Johnson, president of Union’s Student Government Association, said the dedication was fruition of God’s work over the past several years.
“I’m excited for future generations of students at Union University who will use this library to cultivate learning, research and community,” Johnson said. Lisa Rogers, chair of Union’s board of trustees, said the day marked the realization of many dreams and aspirations.
“The vision of the type of community we desire is taking shape here,” Rogers said. “The Logos will help us achieve the mission of Union University as well as our vision for the future.”