Union receives grant to help fund freshman program

Published on
September 23, 2013

Union College recently announced it has received a grant to enhance the newly introduced student success program, Union College Experience.

The James Graham Brown Foundation, based in Louisville, Ky., awarded the college $483,000 to help support three years of UCE, a program that was launched in August for incoming freshmen.

Specifically, the grant will help finance the two-week period before fall semester, when freshmen arrive on campus. During this time, students become adjusted to college life by engaging in classes and activities provided by the UCE program.

The goal of the program is not only to give freshmen a chance to acclimate to a new environment, but also to boost the school’s retention rate and increase the number of college graduates in the region, according to the college’s president, Marcia Hawkins, Ph.D. 

Another main goal of UCE is to provide assistance to under-represented groups of students.

“The Union College Experience is all about new freshmen. We identified a need to help our new students, many of them first generation, acclimate to campus life and college work before the semester begins,” said Hawkins. “With UCE, they gain confidence and a sense of ownership of their education goals, and they come to understand their responsibilities as members of a community of learners.”

Hawkins said that this James Graham Brown grant helps position the program for greater success.

The James Graham Brown Foundation is based in Louisville, Ky. and “fosters the well-being, quality of life and image of Louisville and Kentucky by actively supporting and funding projects in the fields of civic affairs, economic development, education and health and general welfare,” according to their website. It was incorporated in 1954 by Brown, who was a lumberman, horseman and entrepreneur.