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The 55 in 95 challenge

Posted on Jan 1, 1995

The Board of Trustees has challenged alumni to increase participation to fifty-five percent in the 1994-95 Annual Fund.

If the alumni reach that figure, the members of the board will contribute $55,000 in additional funds above their regular annual support and gifts to the capital campaign.

Alumni participation in the Annual Fund is about fifty percent. To reach the fifty-five percent level, all current donors need to continue to contribute and the College must add 1,755 new donors.

Frank Messa '73, chair of the Annual Fund, says, “We know from our successful history of foundation grant applications that our alumni participation rate makes a difference. Even though fifty percent places among the best in the country, we can do better, and we think the trustee challenge will provide the stimulus we need.”

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Help for Memorial Chapel

Posted on Jan 1, 1995

Memorial Chapel during renovation

As the external scaffolding came down from the Nott Memorial, it went up around Memorial Chapel as work began on a wide range of improvements.

The first projects came at the top of the building. The slate roof was repaired, the brick and stucco walls were
repainted, and the cupola, with its clock and carillon, underwent a complete renovation.

Still ahead are such projects as repairing the discoloration and damage to the ceiling from roof leaks, adding a new sound system and better lighting, and improving the heating, ventilation, and electrical systems.

Helping with the Memorial Chapel improvements were a number of gifts, including:

  • $100,018 from Sallie Hume, a former trustee. 
  • $75,000 from Kenneth J. Whalen '49, also a former trustee. 
  • $25,000 from Aline Burgess, widow of Roger N. Burgess '38. 
  • $20,000 from William H. Milton 111 '50. 
  • Dr. James W. Haviland '32 has established a $85,625 charitable gift annuity with the College. The annutiy provides income to Dr. Haviland for his life. Upon his death, the remainder will go into an endowment that will provide funds for the continuing maintenance and upkeep of the chapel.

The chapel will celebrate its seventieth birthday next October. Designed by McKim, Mead & White, it was dedicated as a memorial to the Union College graduates who lost their lives in World War I.

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Dance program receives a major gift

Posted on Jan 1, 1995

Edward Villella receiving an honorary degree in 1991

The dance program at the College has been paired with one of the leading names in American
dance – Edward Villella – thanks to a gift of $100,000 from Charles Lothridge '44.

Lothridge's gift will endow the Edward Villella Prize, a scholarship for a promising dance student; provide a current spendable fund supporting the Union dance program; and provide a permanent endowment for the dance program after Lothridge's death.

The Villella Prize will be awarded through a juried competition, with the prize to be determined or awarded by Villella himself. The prize includes a cash stipend to study with the Miami (Fla.) City Ballet, of which
Villella is founder and artistic director.

President Roger Hull, announcing the gift, said, “Union is indeed honored to have its dance program connected with Edward Villella through the generosity of Charles Lothridge. Both men
share our vision to further strengthen this important program.”

Lothridge said his goal “is to enhance Union's reputation in the performing arts, particularly dance, by making it
a magnet for people interested in this area.”

Viillella received an honorary doctor of humane letters from Union in 1991, the year his son, Rodney, received a bachelor's degree from the College.

One of the most celebrated dancers in the country, Villella has done much to popularize the role of the male in dance. He is a graduate of the New York Maritime Academy, where he earned a B.S. in marine transportation, lettered in baseball, and was a championship boxer.

After college, he resumed his dance training at the American School of Ballet, and in 1957 he was invited to join the New York City Ballet. As soloist and principal dancer for the company, he came to be identified with roles in George Balanchine's Tarantella, Jewels, Midsummer Night's Dream, and Prodigal Son.

He has performed for four U.S. presidents, danced at the Royal Danish Ballet and the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, and won an Emmy award for his television production of Harlequin. The Miami City Ballet, which he founded in 1986, has gained worldwide acclaim.

Lothridge, of Pipersville, Pa., retired as a psychologist from the General Electric Company.

Villella and four dancers from the Miami City Ballet will come to Union on May 6 to give a public lecture-performance and to conduct a master's class for students. Villella is not scheduled to dance during the appearance.

Union's dance program is a full-credit course that incorporates lectures and experimentation. At least four practical classes in modern dance and ballet technique are offered each term. Classes are taught by three instructors: Darlene Myers, Ellen Sinopoli, and Toni Smith. Students have a number of performing opportunities through Dance Ensemble, a student-organized group.

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Schaffer Foundation gives $1 million for the Library

Posted on Jan 1, 1995

The College has received a grant of $1 million from the Schaffer Foundation of Schenectady for the renovation and expansion of Schaffer Library.

The Schaffer Foundation is the legacy of the late Henry Schaffer, a former member of the College's Board of Trustees. He was the founder and president of Empire Super Markets, one of the state's largest
independently owned food chains. The company was acquired by the Grand Union Company.

“This gift represents an important step in modernizing our library to make it the intellectual center of the campus,” said President Roger Hull.

The new library will dramatically improve student and faculty access to sources of knowledge beyond the classroom and the laboratory. Included will be:

  • A bibliographic instruction room, a fully-electronic classroom where students and faculty will receive whatever help they need to track down information. Nearby will be an electronic reference resource center, which will have computer workstations and CD-ROM and on-line access for the entire library. 
  • Expanded space for traditional printed sources ranging from 2,000 journals to the primary sources available in the Special Collections; 
  • Group study rooms, in recognition that collaborative learning is an important part of the College's mission, as well as improved individual spaces for independent study; 
  • An expanded language laboratory with personal computers for interactive use with microcomputers, VCR's, CD players, video disc players; 
  • A video distribution system to receive satellite and cable programming, including foreign language satellite broadcasts; 
  • An enhanced mix of private and cooperative spaces for the Writing Center; 
  • Access to the libraries and archives of the world through Internet.

Total cost of the project, which will add about 50,000 square feet of new floor space, is estimated at
about $17 million-$15 million for construction and $2 million to establish an endowment to support maintenance of the building.

The new library will combine the renovation of the 1960 Schaffer library with new construction. The 1974 annex-which is structurally unsound and cannot support the open stacks for which it was built will be dismantled and a new three-story facility will be built.

Space also will be added to the north and south sides of the original 1960 library, and 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.

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The overlap season gets underway

Posted on Jan 1, 1995

Missy Lombardoni

It's the time of the year when the College's sports information director, George Cuttita, keeps extra busy racing from a football game to a hockey game, with a basketball game or swimming meet thrown in for good measure.

This year, the overlap season was a good one, as the football team won a championship game and the hockey team got off to a winning start.

The football championship was the ECAC Northwest game, in which Union overwhelmed the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, 34-14.

It was the ninth postseason appearance for the Dutchmen in the past twelve years. Union had hoped to receive one of four bids to the NCAA regional games, but the Dutchmen finished fifth in the polling. A midseason loss to unranked Coast Guard undoubtedly played a major role in the decision.

“We were very disappointed at being overlooked,” said John Audino, the head coach. “I give our players a lot of credit for playing hard against UMass. We showed great pride and tradition.”

The star of the championship game was senior tailback Chris Irving, who rushed for 159 yards and scored three touchdowns. His effort earned him the game's most valuable player award and a spot on the ECAC weekly honor roll for the fifth time this season. Later, he was named to the ECAC Upstate
All Star team.

Irving finished his career with 3,408 yards rushing (he is Union's only 3,000yard player) and scored thirty-three touchdowns, another Union record.

Another outstanding fall record came in volleyball, with Union setting a school record for wins in a season (twenty-four). The team's winning percentage of .750, on a record of 24-8, was the second-best in the history of the sport at Union.

Senior Jen Ahrens finished with 533 of the team's 680 assists. She also had 195 service aces. Sophomore Gretchen Voegler led the team with 290 kills, 243 digs, and 135 blocked shots.

The field hockey team concluded with a record of 8-7, including an appearance in the state tournament. Senior forward Missy Lombardoni was selected to the College Field Hockey Coaches Association All-American third team and the state All-Star first team. A four-year starter, she had five goals and five assists this year and eighteen goals and twenty-five assists during her career.

The hockey team opened with a loss at Providence, went undefeated for the next five games, and then lost Thanksgiving weekend games to Harvard and Brown. The streak included a win over traditional power St. Lawrence (6-2) and a tie with Clarkson (3-3).

Both the men's and women's swimming teams began with two dual meet wins and championships at the Union Relays. College Sports magazine, the only national publication devoted to college sports, picked the men's team number six and the women's team number eight in its preseason rankings.

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