Posted on Jan 30, 2005

When you compile and edit an 850-page volume covering most of the College's first two centuries, you're bound to uncover some fairly obscure, but interesting, facts.

Wayne Somers '61

Herewith, courtesy of Wayne Somers '61, editor of the Encyclopedia of Union College History, we present a collection of “questions about Union history that most people could not answer.”

He warns, “This is an advanced quiz, which nobody is going to ace.”

A decade in the making with more than 50 contributors, the Encyclopedia is much more than a collection of trivia, however. (The book is available through the College's bookstore.)

  1. What is the most widely known song by a Union alumnus?(Hint: it's not “Home, Sweet Home,” “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” or “Taps.”)
  2. Which of these campus buildings is named for a former trustee: Achilles Rink Becker Hall Hale House McKean House Nott Memorial Silliman Hall Wells House Peschel Computer Center
  3. If you have walked around the campus in the past half-century, you've seen the work of Ephraim Keyser. Where?
  4. In addition to Nott Street and Nott Terrace, named for President Nott, and Landon Terrace, named for acting president Judson Landon, four Schenectady streets were named for 19th-century faculty members: Gillespie Street, Foster Avenue, Jackson Place, and one other that no longer exists. What was it?
  5. What Oxford-Cambridge heavyweight boxing champion became president of Union College?
  6. What president was born on the campus? What deceased president's remains are interred on the campus?
  7. What faculty member later served a term in the German parliament?
  8. What did the Class of 1922 drop on the Class of 1923 from an airplane?
  9. When this faculty member returned from a European sabbatical, more than 200 alumni and their families met him in New York Harbor on a garnet-bedecked boat, carrying a celebratory canon and a band.
  10. To whom is Memorial Chapel a memorial?
  11. Match the President with the luck:
    Richmond – Caught five trout with three casts of the fly
    Raymond – Hit a hole-in-one at the Mohawk Golf Club
    Day – Found a pearl in an oyster
  12. You have passed through the Class of 1910 Gate. Where were you at the time?
  13. Which of these fraternities never had a chapter at Union: Alpha Mu Sigma, Alpha Phi Delta, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Sigma, Sigma Kappa, Sigma Lambda Chi, Theta Nu Epsilon, Zeta Psi.
  14. What is the oldest named thing on campus?
  15. Who gave the College the present flagpole?
  16. What color was the Idol painted the first time?
  17. Where was the Union College barbershop?
  18. What Union College building has appeared on a U.S. postage stamp?
  19. What is the oldest existing Union College building?
  20. Which presidents' wives were born in Wales?
  21. Union's first provost's middle name was Willard. What was his last name?
  22. Which Union presidents had formerly owned slaves?
  23. He crossed the Delaware with George Washington and later became a professor at Union College.