Featured Book: “Washington’s Farewell: The Founding Father’s Warning To Future Generations”


In honor of George Washington’s birthday, February 22nd, 1732, we are featuring a new book about the first president!

Washington’s Farewell: The Founding Father’s Warning To Future Generations by John Avlon, is an extremely readable and interesting look at George Washington’s farewell address.  The book looks at Washington’s life and the events that shaped his character and beliefs, culminating in his farewell address.  I had never heard of Washington’s Farewell Address, and it was very interesting to see how the issues that Washington addresses are still relevant today.

After two terms in office, Washington wanted to leave some words of wisdom for the country, so he worked with Alexander Hamilton to write an address which was published in a newspaper, rather than given as a speech.

First, he encouraged national unity and warned against factions caused by political parties or geographic location.  Throughout his presidency, he had seen how politicians could be more loyal to their party than to their country, and he wanted them to put the interests of their country first.

Next, he encouraged fiscal discipline.  Although he was not opposed to some national debt, he felt that there should be limits on it.  Washington himself had been bankrupt, but he also saw the need for revenue.  He stated that public credit should be used as “sparingly as possible” but “toward the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant.”

He believed that virtue was necessary for a successful country, and that religion was the best way to inculcate virtue. He stated, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports….reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” Washington attended Anglican Church regularly, but believed in religious tolerance and that virtue could be cultivated through various denominations.

Washington never had the opportunity to go to college because he had to drop out of school and work after his father’s death. However, he saw the benefits of education, pursued lifelong learning through reading classics, and made sure both his step-children had the opportunity for higher education.  In the farewell address he promoted public education, especially the creation of a national university for deserving and exceptional young men (which never came to pass).  However, he called for a military academy, and West Point was established after his death.

Finally, he stated that the United States should avoid entanglement in foreign affairs, and that the best way to prepare for peace is to prepare for war. Unlike Thomas Jefferson who believed that “a little rebellion can be good,” and wanted to support the French revolution, Washington had been involved in war, and knew the costs and realities of war.

The speech has been regularly read in Congress each year, and various presidents have cited it to support their policies.  Through the 1950’s, the speech was taught in schools and students were expected to memorize it.  The last paragraph is used word for word in the musical Hamilton in the song “One Last Time.”  Especially today, Washington’s words about the dangers of factions, debt, and involvement in foreign wars, as well as the importance of education and the promotion of virtue are incredibly relevant.

Washington’s Farewell is currently available on the New Book Shelf! Click this link for more books about our first president.

*Post written by Anna Poore

We Have Graphic Novels!

graphic novel 3

Did you know that the library carries graphic novels in our Family Room?

Featuring diverse characters and powerful stories, these books are exciting to read. The illustrations leap off the page with bold colors or character expressions, and the comic book format makes reading along easy.

graphic novel 1

To search our graphic novels collection, click here.  Happy reading!

graphic novel

Celebrating Black History Month


Every February people all over the nation celebrate African-American history and accomplishments. We have all heard of the legendary figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglas, but did you also know that blood banks, protective mailboxes, and potato chips are all African-American innovations? We’ve put together a list of the top 7 African-American achievements for you to enjoy this Black History Month.

1) Madam C.J. Walker

Born Sarah Breedlove, Walker suffered from disease-related hair loss, which was not uncommon at the time. She formulated a line of African-American hair care products. She then founded Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories which manufactured cosmetics and trained beauticians. Her business skills allowed her to become one of the first self-made woman millionaires in the country.


2) Percy Julian

Born in Montgomery, Alabama, the son of a railway mail clerk and the grandson of slaves, Percy Lavon Julian became an instrumental mind in the synthesis and production of steroids. Julian graduated as the valedictorian of his undergraduate class at DePauw University and taught chemistry at Fisk University before receiving a fellowship to Harvard. In his research he pioneered synthesis and production methods of hormones and steroids that ended up helping prevent miscarriages, treat glaucoma that could cause blindness, and ease rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.


3) Althea Gibson

In an age where most African-Americans were prevented from playing the sport, Althea Gibson made history as a remarkable tennis player. She practiced and improved to the point where, even in a racially divided society, her skills had to be recognized. She became the first African-American person to play at Wimbledon, won the Women’s singles and doubles in 1957, and won the U.S. Open in 1958.


4) Edward Brooke III

Born in 1919, Edward Brooke III would eventually make political history. Elected in 1966, Brooke’s entry into the senate ended an 85 year absence of African-American senators. He was the first popularly elected senator as well as the first black politician from Massachusetts to serve in congress. Brooke originally wanted a career in medicine, but shortly after he earned his bachelor’s of science degree the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He served overseas in World War II and, without formal training, became known as a public defender due to his work defending black enlisted men in military court. After the war he became a successful lawyer and had several failed election attempts. Eventually, he won his first political victory by becoming an attorney general which paved the way for the rest of his political career to begin. He passed away in January 2015 after a long, successful life.


5) Hazel Scott

Called the “Darling of Café Society,” Hazel Scott was a celebrated musician during the 1930s. She immigrated to the United States during her early childhood, and was accepted in to the famous Julliard School of Music. In her lifetime she hosted her own radio show, performed on Broadway, recorded her own boogie singles, and became a celebrated pianist and instrumentalist. With her fame she entered the movie business, but refused to work at less than equal pay than the white actors and refused to wear maid uniforms or anything of the sort. She was one of the first African-Americans successfully able to challenge racism in the film industry.


6) Jesse Owens

Known as the “The Buckeye Bullet,” Jesse Owens was an American track and field athlete. He won four gold medals and set two world records during the Berlin Olympics in 1936. His long jump record alone stood undefeated for 25 years. The reason Owens sticks out in the history books, other than his stellar athletic record, was because his victories directly flew in the face of Nazi Germany’s perceived Aryan supremacy. Hitler condemned America’s choice of including black athletes, but six of America’s eleven gold medals earned that year were earned by African-Americans, most of which by Owens. His victories helped cement America’s place in the Olympics, but also threw some dirt in the face of Nazi discriminatory ideology.


7) Ralph Bunche

Born in Detroit in 1904, Ralph Johnson Bunche would be the first African-American to win the coveted Nobel Peace Prize. He was the son of a barber and amateur musician, and his aunt had been born into slavery. He was intellectually gifted and graduated summa cum laude and the valedictorian of his class at the University of California at Los Angeles. He taught at Howard University and earned his doctorate at Harvard. He earned his Nobel Peace Prize due to his extensive efforts and negotiations of armistice agreements between Israel and the Arab States which alleviated intense fighting and loss of life between the two sides.

Random Acts of Kindness Day – College Edition

Are you feeling a little discouraged by the winter weather? Has a mountain of homework got you down in the dumps? Take heart! February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day. We all know that doing something kind for another can uplift our own spirits. Why not consider brightening someone’s day right here on campus with one of the ideas from the list below?

  1. Swipe for the person behind you in line at Cobo. Chances are you’ve done this before –  we all have that one roommate who always forgets her ID or that senior friend who’s perpetually stressed and out of meal swipes. This time, try doing it for a total stranger!
  2. Send a note of encouragement to a friend or acquaintance’s UU mailbox. A Scripture verse, a humorous poem, or a letter reminding the person of something they’re excelling at – all would be wonderful to find in your box on a wintry February day. This is easy (and free!) to do – campus mail doesn’t have to be stamped. Simply place it in the drop in the SUB hallway.pexels-photo-279415.jpeg
  3. Do the dishes for your roommate. That one roommate who’s struggling through the busiest semester of her college career – she might appreciate it if her sink full of dirty plates and mugs disappeared mysteriously. She never even has to know…
  4. Offer someone free tutoring help. You don’t have to be perfect at a subject to lend a hand with homework. Know of a classmate who’s struggling through Statistics or blundering in Biology? Maybe that’s your strong suit, and maybe this is your chance to practice a random act of kindness. Just make sure your help is welcomed first!
  5. Buy a coffee for a friend who’s studying in the Logos. Some afternoons you sit on the first floor of the library, bent over your Chemistry textbook, and hold up your eyelids because they stubbornly decide to close on you. “I can’t spend five dollars on a coffee this week. I’m broke!” you tell yourself. If you notice an acquaintance who’s in this situation, escort them into Modero and tell them to pick out a warm and caffeinated beverage –  it’s on you.pexels-photo-414630.jpeg
  6. Bake cookies and leave them on each doorstep in your building. Note: since some people may view unidentified cookies with suspicion, you might want to include a note explaining that you are one of their building neighbors and encouraging them to share the cookies with a friend, creating a ripple of kind acts.wood-light-brown-dessert
  7. Help someone tote their belongings across campus. For some students, their parking space seems a mile away from their dorm. If you notice someone struggling with suitcases or groceries, see if they’d like an extra pair of hands.
  8. Give a car-less individual a ride to Walmart. Not all Union students have vehicles, and north Jackson is not exactly designed to be pedestrian-friendly. If you know a stranded freshman desperate for groceries, why not kindly offer to be their chauffeur?
  9. Appreciate a professor. Even scholars with doctorates need acts of kindness! A simple card or email to a favorite prof could mean more than you’d imagine. Tell them why you appreciate them, what you love about their class, or simply one way they’ve helped you in your walk with God.education-a-good-idea-an-array-of-school-40382.jpeg
  10. Pray for a friend or classmate who’s struggling. A Cobo swipe or a chocolate chunk cookie can go a long way toward making someone’s day better, but for those dealing with stress, chronic illness, or even mental health problems, random acts of kindness are like putting a Band-Aid on a deep wound. Remember, prayer is an act of kindness, too. Even if the person never knows you’re lifting them up to the Lord, your intercession could be the kindest thing you can do.

Which random act of kindness will you perform this month? You might find that being extra kind brings you so much joy you try to do it all year long!


*post written by Danielle Chalker

Our Book Picks For Valentine’s Day!

 *Post written by Ruth Duncan

Spring Workshops

index 0

Come to the library’s free, helpful workshops this spring!


List of workshops:

February 15th: Lit Review I

February 22nd: Lit Review II

February 26th: APA

March 20th: MLA

March 22nd: Turabian


Preregister to attend at this link.

How to Download eBooks to Read Offline

pex ebook

The library provides access to thousands of eBooks. Many of these e-books are newly published, with up-to-date information about current events, which makes them useful resources. The e-books can be viewed through the library website online.

Sometimes, you may want to check out and download an eBook to read offline. Oftentimes eBooks can be downloaded for around 20 days before they expire from your device, and most e-books are multi-user (meaning multiple viewers can check them out simultaneously). However, a few are limited-user, which means that they cap the number of people who can view them at a time.

Here’s a simple “how-to” list for downloading e-books to read offline:

1. On the library website, click to view the e-book of your choice. Usually this link will say “View eBook” on the eBook’s information page.

2. The eBook will pop up in a database, usually one like EBSCOhost. On the left of the page, click the “Download this eBook (Offline)” link.

3. Create an account on EBSCO- it’s free! The prompt will say “Please sign in to your My EBSCOhost account to check availability and download.” Then you can click the “Create New Account” or sign in if you’ve previously made an EBSCO account.

4. Once you’re signed in, a window will pop up. Select the amount of days you wish to check out the eBook from the drop-down menu. Then click “Checkout and Download.”

5. Here’s where it can get a bit tricky. The eBook will then be downloaded to your eBooks folder on EBSCO. To download it to your device for offline reading, make sure that you have the suggested Adobe program, Adobe Digital Edition 4.5.7. It is a free download and will allow you to read the eBook offline. Do NOT click to install Norton Security if you are on a library computer (instead, uncheck the box and click next).

6. Give your computer access to Adobe Digital when prompted.

7. Click to download the eBook again, and it will open with the new Adobe software you have downloaded.

8. Enjoy your reading material!

*this guide was written for current UU students, faculty, and staff


UPDATE: Here’s a helpful tutorial, made by Jenny Manasco in our library:

New In Our Archives: “The Private Papers of John Jeter Hurt”


The most recent addition to the Union University Archives is a bound volume of the Private Papers of John Jeter Hurt. Hurt was president of Union University from 1932-1945. A graduate of Richmond College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Hurt pastored churches in Conway, AR; Durham, NC; and Wilmington, NC before coming to Jackson as pastor of First Baptist Church. In 1932 he became president of Union and led the university through the Great Depression and World War II.

As a pastor, Hurt was known as a powerful orator and was not afraid to delve into politics. He counted among his friends and acquaintances: Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy under Woodrow Wilson and Ambassador to Mexico under Franklin Roosevelt; Kenneth McKellar, United State Senator from Tennessee; and Franklin Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States.


Hurt was also respected among Southern Baptists and other denominational leaders often sought his counsel. This volume, includes letters from Roosevelt, Daniels, and McKellar as well as Warren G. Harding, Nelson Rockefeller, Kennesaw Landis, Federal judge and first Commissioner of Baseball, and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, President of Sears, Roebuck and Company. Letters from Southern Baptist leaders include those from W. O. Carver, M. E. Dodd, Herschel Hobbs, R. G. Lee, Duke McCall, E. Y. Mullins, John R. Sampey, George W. Truett and Theron Rankin.

Union University is grateful to the family of John Jeter Hurt for donating this volume to the archives. It will soon be processed and available to researchers.


*article written by Archivist Jenny Manasco