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College named one of nation’s hidden gems

Posted on Jul 30, 2006

Union College is among 20 ''hidden gems'' singled out to be on insiders' short lists in a story featured in the New York Times on Sunday, July 30.

The story appears in Education Life, which is published quarterly by the newspaper. The list is divided geographically, with Union included in the Northeast, along with SUNY Geneseo and Wheaton College in Norton, Mass.

The article highlights colleges considered to be solid alternatives to better-known schools such as Harvard, Yale and Stanford.

The list was compiled with help from a dozen higher education experts and counselors.

Nott Memorial with plaque

Here is the text of what was printed about the College:

''That's Union as in the union of science, particularly engineering, and the humanities. Consider this year's valedictorian, Mark Weston, who majored in computer science with a minor in classics. The salutatorian, Marisa Zarchy, was a biology major with a double minor in chemistry and art.

More than 150 years ago, Union was one of the big four – right up there with Harvard, Yale and Princeton – before losing ground amid a scandal over college finances. Union began a revival in the early 1900's with the addition of an electrical engineering program, tapping a relatively new technology.

Three years ago, Union embarked on another experiment. Worried that Greek life was dominating campus (the country's three oldest fraternities were founded at Union), administrators created the Minerva houses, after the Roman goddess of wisdom. Students, about 300 each, and professors are assigned to one of seven houses, where they study, hold discussion groups and just hang out; upperclassmen can live in the houses. Mr. Herndon-Brown lauds the new social climate for letting Union's “academic richness” shine through.''

Visit “Off the Beaten Path” to read the complete article (registration may be required).

The website of the Times also features a slide show of the 20 schools, including a picture of the Nott Memorial taken by Jason Slater '02.

The New York Times has a circulation of 1.6 million on Sundays.

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One gift. Two secure futures.

Posted on Jul 28, 2006

Your charitable gift can guarantee you a secure fixed income and ensure a quality education for generations of Union College students.

A charitable gift annuity can provide:

• Supplemental income payments for your lifetime (and the lifetime of your spouse)

• Significant tax breaks

• Satisfaction that comes from financially supporting Union

Find out how your gift can secure two futures.

Jacqueline Cavalier, Director, Gift Planning
(518) 388-6156, or toll free at (888) 843-4365 ext. 6156

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Parents’ Perspective: Thank you Nicholsons

Posted on Jul 28, 2006

We have just completed another wonderful year at Union and have a moment to breathe before we dive in to get ready for next year.

As director of the Parents Program, I say a special thank you to Lori and Peter Nicholson, our Parents Association co-chairs for the past three years. (I also thank Kate '06 for sharing her parents.) Lori and Peter have been great “partners in parents.”

Union parents need to know about what is happening on campus, and the Nicholsons have been great liaisons. They have hosted events, sent email newsletters, responded to emails and talked with parents at events or on the phone. My thanks to them for their effort, their optimism, and their sense of fun.

I join the Nicholsons in thanking Interim President Jim Underwood for his support during the past year. Jim started off at Freshman Sendoffs, a great surprise and honor for incoming students and their families. Parents were also pleased to see Jim at Parent Association and Parent Committee events. Jim has always made time for members of the Union family.

Here are a few important dates to get on your calendar now:

September 3 Residence halls open at 9 a.m. (First year students only)
September 3-5 First-year student orientation
September 4 Residence halls open for returning students
September 5 First-year student advising and registration
September 6 Fall term classes begin
September 6-7 Fall term registration confirmation
September 19 Last day for changes in fall schedule
October 13-15 Homecoming and Family Weekend '06
October 14 Parents Association Meeting

If you would like to volunteer or have any questions, please email me at Parents_Program@union.edu.

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Perfect pitch

Posted on Jul 28, 2006


This spring, Jeff Carano, chief operating officer for Jeff Babicz Guitars and father of Vincent Carano '07, presented two of his company's unique instruments to the College. Inspired by the Taylor family donors, the elder Carano wanted to make his own contribution to the arts at Union.

The guitars will be available for students and faculty who would like to take a lesson or to spend some time strumming in the practice rooms, said Associate Professor of Music Tim Olsen.

The Babicz line, founded by Carano and luthier Jeff Babicz in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in 2003, has been making headlines for its revolutionary technology in the often traditional world of acoustic guitars.

Its trademark is the visually striking fan of strings below the bridge, which increases the resonance and durability of the instrument.

The guitars also feature an adjustable neck joint that allows musicians to raise and lower string height.

“They're unique,” said Olsen. “The bridge is moveable and adjustable, you can move the neck back and forth for certain kinds of picking, and with the fanned strings, the tension is spread out across the entire top of the guitar.”

In many ways, the company is bringing technology more often associated with electric guitars to the acoustic or acoustic-electric realm. Rockers are taking notice, with Todd Rundgren, Pat Travers and K.K. Dowling from Judas Priest a few of the string-bending legends who play the Babicz line.

“It's been really great getting to talk with these established artists at backstage events or at national guitar shows,” says Vincent Carano, an experienced guitarist.

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Our success in admissions is a testament to our alumni

Posted on Jul 28, 2006

Daniel M. Lundquist, vice president for admissions, financial aid and communications

“This spring, the College drew more applications-4,373-than at any time in history,” said Dan Lundquist, vice president for admissions. “The Class of 2010 has the largest-ever number of students selecting Union as their first-choice school, and a record 64 percent are in the top 10 percent of their high school class.”

That success is due in no small part to our alumni.

Whether they directly support our alumni admissions programs or demonstrate a Union pride in all that they do, Union alumni matter.

Just ask the Class of 2010.

To be an alumni admissions volunteer, contact Admissions at (518) 388-6112 or email lecceh@union.edu.

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