Union College

Union College

Infobox University
name = Union College

motto = Sous les lois de Minèrve nous devenons tous frères ( _fr. “We all become brothers under the laws of Minerva”)
established = 1795
type = Private
president = Stephen C. Ainlay
city = Schenectady
state = NY
country = USA
campus = Urban
undergrad = 2,200
postgrad =
faculty = 209
mascot = Dutchmen/Dutchwomen
endowment= $365 million
website = [http://www.union.edu www.union.edu] |

Union College is a non-denominational, independent, liberal arts college located in Schenectady, New York. Chartered in 1795, it is the second oldest college in the state, following only Columbia University. Known as the "Mother of Fraternities", Union spawned the first three Greek letter societies in America.


Officially chartered in 1795, the college can trace its beginnings to 1779. Certain that Burgoyne's defeat at Saratoga two years before would mean a new nation, several hundred residents of northern New York began the first popular demand for higher education in America. Local academic and clerical activists persisted in these efforts for sixteen years until the Regents of the State of New York recognized the school with the state's first charter.

For its initial seventy-five years, Union was regarded among the top handful of colleges in America. During the third quarter of the 19th century there was a loss in student enrollment. The college struggled to regain its previously high standing and had to rebuild and redefine itself after that period.

Today, Union is rated among the top liberal arts colleges in the United States.cite web |url=http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/usnews/edu/college/directory/brief/drglance_2889_brief.php |title=America's Best Colleges: Union College |accessdate=2008-06-04 |publisher=U.S.News & World Report |archiveurl=http://www.webcitation.org/5YKb4BlMa |archivedate=2008-06-04] Number 40 in the 2008 U.S. News & World Report ranking, Union offers many programs encompassing the liberal arts and sciences. Nearly fifty percent of its 2,200 students are enrolled in science or engineering. The current student body is almost evenly split between males and females. A founding member of NESCAC (before withdrawing in 1982), Union fields Division III teams in the majority of its sports. Ice hockey, Division I, is the exception.

United States President Chester A. Arthur, seven cabinet secretaries, fifteen United States senators, ninety-one members of the House of Representatives, thirteen governors, fifty important diplomats, more than 200 judges, forty missionaries, sixteen generals, and ninety college presidents, including the first presidents of the University of Illinois, the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, Vassar College, Smith College, Elmira College are all alumni of Union College.

Fellow graduates William H. Seward, well-known for his once-controversial purchase of Alaska, and Robert Toombs, served simultaneously as Secretaries of State, Seward for the United States and Toombs the Confederate States of America, an unusual distinction in American history. Portraits of both currently hang side-by-side in the President’s House.

Union University

Union College, Albany College of Pharmacy, Albany Law School, Albany Medical College, Dudley Observatory, Graduate College of Union University, together form Union University, a historic linkage dating back to 1873 for graduate programs. Each member institution has its own governing board, is fiscally independent and is responsible for its own programs. [ [http://www.union.edu/Union University Union College's description of Union University] ]


Union is home to a large and respected athletics department. The school competes in the Liberty League for all sports except Ice Hockey where the Men's and Women's Teams are both members of ECAC Hockey at the Division I level. Football is usually quite strong and maintains a long standing rivalry with RPI. Each Season the two schools compete for the Dutchman's Shoes. Additionally, the Men's Ice Hockey also has a strong rivalry with RPI. Union is also home to strong Women's Lacrosse, Soccer and Softball teams which are usually nationally ranked.

The school also offers some club sports which are supported by the Student Activities department such as, Ultimate, Rugby, Ice Hockey, Cycling, Kendo, Ballroom Dancing, Curling, and Bowling.

Greek life

Union College is referred to as the "Mother of Fraternities" because many fraternities, including the first three in America, as well as three other national fraternities, were founded there. More fraternities have been founded at Union than at any other college or university. The Union Triad is a name given to the first three Greek letter social fraternities with a continuing record founded in America. They were the Kappa Alpha Society (1825) (the oldest fraternity in the nation), the Sigma Phi Society (1827) and Delta Phi (1827). Sigma Phi and Delta Phi are the only two remaining out of the three thus making these chapters the oldest fraternity chapters in the nation. Many students (approximately 33%) choose to be a part of the Greek life on campus.

There are nine fraternities that are a part of the Inter-Fraternal Council on campus. These fraternities are
Alpha Delta Phi (AD), Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi),Chi Psi, (XY), Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE), Phi Delta Theta (Phi Delt), Psi Upsilon (Psi U), Sigma Chi (Sig Chi), Sigma Phi (Sig Phi), and Theta Delta Chi (TDX).

There are also three sororities on campus that are a part of the Panhellenic Council, Delta Delta Delta (Tri Delt), Gamma Phi Beta (Gamma Phi), and Sigma Delta Tau (SDT).

The Multicultural Greek Council is also the governing body of five other Greek institutions: Alpha Phi Alpha, Phi Iota Alpha, Omega Phi Beta, Iota Phi Theta, and Lambda Pi Chi (In order of establishment date at Union College).

The College recently hired a new Director of Greek Life who will oversee all aspects of Greek life in an effort to improve and unite the system. In addition he will help develop a new Greek Scholarship to be awarded to a member of the Greek system who displays need, outstanding contributions to Greek Life, academics, and philanthropic endeavors.

Minerva House System

In recent years many old fraternity houses were taken over by the College in order to create the Minerva House system (named for the Roman goddess of wisdom who appears on the college's shield). Each incoming freshman is randomly placed in a Minerva House for their time at Union. Each Minerva House has a yearly entertainment budget, and can plan activities and events for its members (Students from any Minerva House can attend events at any other house as well). Upperclassmen also have the option of living in their Minerva.

The seven Minerva Houses are Beuth House, Blue House, Breazzano House, Golub House, Green House, Sorum House, and Wold House.

Theme Houses

As of September 2008, Union College has thirteen theme houses which are residential institutions each built around a specific theme. The houses are expected to contribute to the campus and local communities in ways directly related to their theme. Theme House Consortium ( [http://themes.union.edu THC] ) is the over seeing body of all themes. THC meets weekly to discuss issues and release funds.

Notable professors, alumni, and students

* Chester A. Arthur, 1848, 21st President of the United States.
* Baruch S. Blumberg, 1945, 1976 Nobel laureate in medicine.
* Civil War general Daniel Butterfield
* Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States. While pursuing the qualifications to command the Navy's first generation of nuclear submarines, then-Lieutenant Carter studied atomic physics through an extension program the College offered to officers detached to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission's Division of Reactor Development Schenectady laboratory.
* Gordon Gould, inventor of the laser.
* Leonard Jerome, 1817-1891, New York entrepreneur and grandfather of Sir Winston Churchill.
* Fitz Hugh Ludlow, 19th century author and explorer, author of the renown "The Hashish Eater" (1857) and the college Alma Mater: "Ode to Old Union."
* Eliphalet Nott, 19th century Presbyterian minister, inventor, educational pioneer, and president of the College for sixty-two years (1804-1866); namesake of the Nott Memorial.
* William H. Seward, Governor of New York, U.S. Secretary of State, Lincoln and A. Johnson Administration.
* Charles Steinmetz, Ground-breaking 19th-20th century mathemetician and electrical engineer, holder of over 200 patents.
* James Tedisco, New York Assemblyman (1982 - ); Minority Leader (2005 - )
* Robert Toombs, 19th century Georgia senator; Secretary of State of the Confederacy.
* George Westinghouse, founder of Westinghouse Electric Corporation, studied briefly at Union.
* Leonard Woods, 1827, fourth president of Bowdoin College
* Joseph Christopher Yates (1768-1837), founding trustee of Union College, American lawyer, statesman and politician, served successively as Mayor of Schenectady (1798), State Senator (1805), State Supreme Court Justice (1808), and seventh Governor of New York (1823–1824); is also the namesake of Yates County, New York.

ee also

*Union Triad


External links

* [http://www.union.edu/ Official website]

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