"Leveraging Our Location"

The Adirondacks | The Mohawk River | Albany | Tech Valley | The city of Schenectady


In 2011, Union College strengthened its historic relationship with the Adirondacks by purchasing the former home of conservationist Paul Schaefer. The home, located in nearby Niskayuna, houses the Adirondack Research Library – the largest collection on the Adirondacks outside of the Adirondack Park.

The result is the Kelly Adirondack Center at Union College, which offers exciting opportunities to advance Union’s understanding of the mountains, wilderness and waterways of this tremendous natural resource. The Center allows Union to affirm its long connection with the Adirondacks, preserve the educational mission that has been central to the Adirondack Research Library and increase our curricular and co-curricular programming related to the Adirondacks.

Union and the Adirondacks

Union College has a long history of intersecting in various ways with the Adirondack mountains and wilderness areas.  Some of our earliest graduates had important relationships with the region, helping to shape conservation policy and popularize the recreational value of the area.  Franklin Hough, Class of 1843, is considered the first chief of what was to become the U.S. Forestry Service, and Hough Peak in the northern Adirondacks bears his name. William James Stillman, Class of 1848, helped develop the region as a tourist destination by starting the Adirondacks Club, a summer excursion for literary and philosophical figures– including Ralph Waldo Emerson. William Fox, Class of 1860, served as the first Superintendent of the Adirondack Park.

A Sense of Place

A Sense of Place is a list proposed in response to President Stephen Ainlay’s initiative to encourage Union College students, faculty and staff to visit and to learn from the many attractive and educational places in our region. Each week a new location will be featured on the Kelly Adirondack Center webpage and subsequently archived to create an easily accessible master list.

These regional sites cover numerous academic disciplines: art, biology, engineering, geography, geology, history, literature, music, natural history, politics, theater and more. This list is dedicated to all students, staff, faculty and friends of Union College and hopefully it will serve to encourage fruitful relations between the College and its New York neighbors north, south, east and west. Although important and delightful, golf courses, ski centers, restaurants, automobile race tracks, movie houses, state and county fairs, amusement parks, and libraries are not listed.