Our Town Lincoln — Union College

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Lincoln's Union College has operated from the same location and under the same name longer than any other Seventh-Day Adventist College in North America.

It all got started on a bleak January day southeast of Lincoln in 1890.

"Well, this was a case of Midwestern boosterism,” Sabrina Riley, a Union College Historian, said. “People here in the city of Lincoln wanted the college to be here."

Their wish came true. The global Seventh-Day Adventist Church decided to build their campus near what is now 48th and Pioneers Boulevard, but in 1890, it was a long walk from Lincoln.

"It was farmers who gave up their fields, there was nothing here except a cottonwood and a hedge row of locust trees,” Riley said.

Pictures taken from the top of the clock tower that was on the original building showed the fields all around the dome of the Capitol building in the far distance, with just a few houses.

Therefore, teachers and students who lived about four miles away in Lincoln needed a way to get to the Union College campus.

“You are standing in front of one of the original trolleys back in the city of Lincoln that used to run from the downtown area out here to Prescott and 48th right here in front of the college,” Vinita Sauder, President of the University, said.

Sauder added that the Global Adventist Church paid to have electric lines put up that ran from southeast Lincoln to the college view area.

It has been 125 years since they started in a cornfield near Lincoln, and now Union College has nearly 900 students from 33 countries around the world and 47 states in America.