About Union


If you have the spark, we will kindle the flames.

Since its origin in 1879, Union College has ignited students from throughout Appalachia, and all over the country, with a collegiate experience to ensure lifelong success. Union is grounded by four pillars that define our focus as an academic institution: service to each other and our communities; our Appalachian culture and heritage; our core affiliation with Methodism and the liberal arts academic experience. The four pillars highlight Union’s strengths, values, mission and identity.

Union serves each of its students with a sincere commitment to strengthen those pillars, to spark passion and inspire lifelong learning in all they do. More than 70 percent of our students call Kentucky home, many of which are first generation college students. That special connection to the families we serve, and whose lives we help change, are valued by every staff and faculty member on campus.

The connection is further evident in our trustees’ commitment to generations of Union students with assurance that 100 percent of our students receive grants and scholarships to alleviate concerns of financing a liberal arts education.

We encourage all of our students to find the warmth that comes in sharing our Appalachian culture and traditions. To find the peace that comes with a breath of mountain air while enjoying our natural surroundings. To kindle the bonds of friendship created here to last a lifetime. And, to light up the classroom with an enthusiasm for learning and a bright vision of their future.

Union College students want to change their worlds, to improve not only their lives and futures, but also their families’ circumstances and their communities. Doing that takes drive, strength and faith.

We call it Fire

In This Section

Union was founded in 1879

There is a reason Union was the first college founded in the Kentucky mountains. Our passion for our region, and our students, remains unchanged. 

Group visiting

Union College is always open for a visit

Needing basic info about us? Find it in a flash right here.

President Hawkins signs her contract

Here is where you'll find the Office of the President, as well as many other offices and resources.

Union College news

Get Union news and announcements here.

Take the first step toward advancing your education
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Timeline of Union's history

A timeline of Union College's history