Union College President Departs
to Take Pastoral Position

David Smith, wife Cherie, to return to Collegedale, Tenn., locale

BY RYAN TELLER, Union College

David Smith, president of Union College, has announced that he will leave Union at the end of June to move to Tennessee where he and his wife, Cherie, will join the pastoral team of the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church.

LEAVING UNION COLLEGE: Dr. David Smith, president of Adventist Church-owned Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska for the past 13 years, will leave the school to become senior pastor of the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tennessee. [Photo: Erik Stenbakken]
David and Cherie, currently a pastor at the College View Seventh-day Adventist Church in Lincoln, have served Union College for 13 years. He is said to have been the longest-serving president in the school’s 120-year history. In joining the Collegedale church staff, Smith succeeds John Nixon, who stepped down last year to become a faculty member at neighboring Southern Adventist University.

“We had hoped and prayed to remain at Union College until retirement,” David said. “But Cherie and I have always done what God convicted us to do. That is why we came to Union College 13 years ago. And that is why we are moving to Tennessee this summer.”

Under Smith’s leadership, Union College has seen enrollment peak at more than 1000 students for the first time in 24 years and the construction of the Ortner Center, Union’s conference center and student dining facility. Smith also oversaw the launch of two highly successful academic programs: a master's level physician assistant studies program and international rescue and relief, a degree which combines baccalaureate coursework in several medical areas or project development with disaster response, survival and rescue training.

“Dr. Smith’s leadership over the past 13 years has been very valuable and will be greatly missed,” said Tom Lemon, chair of the Union College Board of Trustees and president of the Mid-America Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “The Union College board and administrative team have a strong commitment to move forward with the vision and future plans that have been established under his guidance.”

The Union College Board of Trustees has begun the search process to appoint a new president.

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