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Nott meets the challenge

Posted on May 1, 1994

Nott Geometry

Last May, the College received a $750,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation, of Troy, Mich., for the restoration and renovation of the Nott Memorial.

The challenge-the grant was contingent upon Union raising the $3.6 million required to complete full funding of the $11 million project by March 1, 1994.

On Feb. 23, the College was delighted to tell the foundation that the challenge had been met.

Support came in a variety of ways and from many sources; here are some of the final gifts that allowed the College to meet the challenge:
m $50,000 from Byron G. George '49; m $100,000 from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, of Jacksonville, Fla.; m $12,000 from Arthur F. Kingsbury 111, vice chairman of BPI Communications in New York City and the parent of a student;
m $25,000 from Roy M. Hershey '68; m $15,000, plus $15,000 in corporate matching funds,
from G. Curtis Stewart '37; More than $22,500 from members of the Garnet Guard (alumni who graduated more than fifty years ago);
m $10,000 from Robert J. Sallick '59;
m $10,000 from William W. Cumberland, Jr., '50.

The College plans to rededicate the restored Not Memorial in February, 1995. The main floor will be a meeting hall with seating for more than 400 people. There will be a gallery area and a study area and gathering space on the second and third floors.

A memorial to Bill Stone

For much of the forty-nine years the late William C. Stone taught at Union, he worked with students on a legendary project-the restoration of the Olivier models.

These three dozen string models illustrate the ruled surfaces of descriptive geometry. Bought by the College
in the nineteenth century from their maker in Paris, the models had fallen into disrepair. Bill Stone was instrumental in restoring them, and Union's collection, believed to be the finest in the world, is now on display in the Science and Engineering Center.

The College now seeks to establish an endowment for the maintenance of the models. Such a fund would mean that the models can be displayed more prominently, used in the classroom, and possibly even loaned to
museums–all as a living memorial to Prof. Stone.

Conceived as a teaching device to aid students in visualizing the intersections of various surfaces, the models are
movable. It is possible, therefore, to have a single model represent a cylindrical surface in one position and a more general ruled surface in another position.

The models were built by Professor Theodore Olivier of the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers. Union's set is clearly an original set, for each has an engraved metal plate attached by Madame Olivier.

Bill Stone began his teaching career at Union in 1942, just three months after graduating from the College, and was a member of the faculty until his retirement in 1991 as the Marie Louise Bailey Professor of Mathematics.
Contributions may be sent to the attention of Bruce Downsbrough '75, director of development. Please note that the contribution is for the Prof. Stone Memorial Fund.

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Gifts, grants, and bequests

Posted on May 1, 1994

A new endowed scholarship honors the memory of Joseph L. Lawrence '39, D.D.S., who died last September. In keeping with his interest in biomedical engineering, the scholarship will encourage students to pursue that field.

The endowment fund was created by Dr. Lawrence's son, David B. Lawrence '65, M.D.; his daughter, Barbara Lawrence
Scharf, and his wife, Pearl Lawrence. Other Union relatives include a nephew, Andrew L. Pearce '76, and a granddaughter, Piper Lawrence '95.

Miscellaneous bequests totaling $95,000 have been received by the College. Major among them was an additional distribution of $75,000 from the estate of Karges E. Lauterbach '27. The gifts from this estate have been used to establish a scholarship for engineering students.

James W. Haviland '32 and J. Dawson Van Eps '28 have made additions to their life income arrangements with the College.

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On to the Library

Posted on May 1, 1994


With work on the restoration of the Nott Memorial well underway, the College has turned to its next major
Bicentennial Campaign project-the renovation and expansion of Schaffer Library.

A committee of faculty and staff has completed work on a program plan, the campus planning office has converted the plan into specifications about space needs, and the College has authorized the architectural firm of Perry Dean Rogers to begin work on detailed architectural drawings.

At the same time, the College Relations staff is beginning a major effort to raise the needed funding-estimated at about $18 million.

The library made news last year, when more than 50,000 volumes had to be moved to an off-campus site. The reason-safety concerns raised about slab deflection in the 1974 addition on the east side of the library.

The moving of the books was the most visible sign of a library that has become too small for campus needs. Another sign is the fact that the present building cannot support the technologically-sophisticated electronic media that students and faculty use daily.

Barbara Jones, the College's librarian, notes that virtually every library resource can now be acquired, catalogued, and circulated electronically. In the engineering sciences, for example, access to nearly all of the basic research material must be done electronically; mathematics and the natural sciences aren't far behind, and by the end of the decade government documents will be available only on compact discs or on-line data bases.

Given this electronic age, the question then becomes why the need to rebuild the central library space? Jones says there are several reasons:

First, the library must provide electronically-equipped instruction space to help students and faculty learn how to use these often complex tools; such space also must meet faculty demand for customized course instruction on various subjects and research methodologies.

Second, collaborative learning­whether it is a group of classics students meeting together to write a Greek comedy or a group of engineering students meeting to solve a structural problem-is an important part of the College's educational process. The library must have space for collaborative learning, space that ranges from group study rooms to multi-user computer work stations.

Third, of course, is the College's priceless 200-year-old collection of books-a collection available nowhere else and in no other format. There simply is no way this collection could be microfilmed or electronically converted, and the College will not limit future collections only to electronic formats. The library, Jones says, must continue to offer works in whatever format that is most appropriate.

When the project is done, a visitor standing in Library Plaza will have to look carefully to see the differences. The western facade facing the Nott Memorial and forming an integral part of the historic Rameé campus will look much as it does today.

The view from the east will be different, however. The 1974 annex will be dismantled and a new three-story facility will be built. Seven to twelve feet will be added to both the north and south sides of the original 1960 Schaffer Library. All told, there will be about 50,000 square feet of new floor space.

The interior will be dramatically different. Most of the interior will be rebuilt with reinforced floor space, conduits for electronic data and communication distribution, and energy-efficient lighting and climate control.

The goal is construct a library that will feel comfortable to both the traditionalist who wants to browse through the stacks of Keats and the computer wizard who wants to plug into an electronic workstation to obtain information stored at the other end of the continent.

The actual construction will proceed in stages so that the library can remain open throughout the construction process. In keeping with the College's policy of fiscal prudence, construction will not begin until all of the needed funding has been raised. Pledges and gifts to date total about $2 million.

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Union 200 The bicentennial Campaign

Posted on May 1, 1994

Memorial Chapel

HELPING THE CHAPEL Memorial Chapel-the College's concert hall and site of many of its ceremonial events is approaching its 70th birthday, and the College has begun a major effort to raise funds for a wide range of improvements. The chapel was dedicated in October, 1925, as a memorial to the Union College graduates who lost their lives in World War I. Considered by many the most beautiful building on campus, it is in serious need of renovation and repair. “Me chapel is really a centerpiece of the campus,” says Dan West, vice president for college relations. “It is used for lectures, convocations, weddings, concerts, memorial services-a range of significant events in the life of the College. It holds a lot of memories for a lot of alumni, and it needs to be preserved in good condition.”

The needs extend from the cupola, with its clock and carillon, to the dressing rooms and accompanying bathrooms in the basement. For example:

  • The slate roof must be repaired; 
  • The organ, which would cost $600,000 to build new today, badly needs repair; 
  • The brick and stucco walls need repointing; 
  • There is discoloration and some damage to the ceiling from roof leaks;
  • A new sound system and better lighting are needed;
  • The heating, ventilation, and electrical work is antiquated and, in some cases, must be replaced.

The College also wants to add to the endowment so that there will be revenue each year to maintain the building.

West says the chapel will continue to be the site of annual events in which the traditions of the College are maintained, such as the annual Founders Day convocation, and several important ceremonies during our bicentennial year.

It also will continue to accommodate most of the musical performances that are an important part of the College's cultural and artistic life, such as the highly-regarded Schenectady MuseumCollege Concert Series. Outstanding groups such as the Emerson String Quartet and the Boston Camerata regularly appear in the chapel, which critics have praised for its superb acoustics.

“It is very important that the chapel be brought back to its original grandeur and that modern sound and lighting systems are added,” West says.

The total amount being sought for the project is $1 million. About $140,000 in lead gifts has been pledged.
Designed by McKim, Mead & White, the chapel is basically Georgian in style with a Doric columned portico in front, a centered belfry, a hipped roof, tall mullioned windows, and a balcony that extends along both sides as well as the rear. The building seats about 1,000.

Memorial Chapel Names

On the lower level hang portraits of all of Union's presidents. Engraved in the marble front wall are the names of the twenty-six alumni who died in World War I.

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