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Sunday concert featuring Boston Camerata postponed due to weather

Posted on Dec 15, 2007

The International Festival of Chamber Music's concert featuring The Boston Camerata's production of “A Renaissance Christmas” scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. at Memorial Chapel has been postponed due to weather.

Another concert featuring the group will be rescheduled for sometime in 2008.

Those who bought tickets in advance can call (518) 388-6080 to ask about a refund; for more information on the Concert Series, call (518) 372-3651 or visit http://www.union.edu/ConcertSeries.

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Selections from Sunnyview: Disabilities help articulate artistic vision, human condition

Posted on Dec 11, 2007

Sunnyview exhibit, Fall of Troy

David Fuentes was born with cerebral palsy, his right side permanently crippled. Carol Es has multiple sclerosis and fights constant fatigue. Others cope with brain and spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, hearing and vision impairments, and a host of other debilitating conditions.

What they have in common is their art – a tribute not only to their technical skills, but to their ability to reach beyond their limitations and tap into their creative selves.

Works in a variety of media by Fuentes, Es and 16 other artists from across the country are on view in Dyson Hall on the first floor of the Nott Memorial through Jan. 27.

“Selections from the 7th Annual Sunnyview Exhibition for Artists with Disabilities” was curated by Mandeville Gallery Director Rachel Seligman and Kara Jefts, exhibitions assistant.

“This show represents an impressive cross section of artists living with disabilities,” said Jefts. “In the face of physical and mental limitations, the artists describe their work as an inspiration and a relief to the challenges and pain they face on a daily basis.”

Carol Es, Cosmoses (detail), 2006, watercolor, pencil on handcut pattern, 6″ x 9″, $400, Selections from the 7th Annual Sunnyview Exhibition for Artists with Disabilities” on display Dec. 13, 2007 through Jan. 27, 2008 in Dyson Hall, first floor, Nott Mem

The 18 pieces in the Union exhibit were culled from more than 80 works of art recently shown at the Viewpoint Gallery at Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital in Schenectady as part of the 7th National Acquisitions Exhibition for Artists with Disabilities.

Printmaker Fuentes, from Corpus Christi, Texas, whose “Fall of Troy” won a Juror’s Choice Award, notes in his artist statement that he has been making art since he was a child. “I have embraced my problems as gifts and made them the fuel to tell my story,” he wrote.  

Es’ work, “Cosmoses,” was designated Best in Show. “I find that art is a way to fight many of my ailments and keep me going,” writes Es, of San Pedro, Calif., who was diagnosed with MS in 1999. “I see art as an argument for reality. Sometimes it’s a document, or evidence of having to find resolution to what goes wrong with my body.”

E David Martin's “Untitled,” from Sunnyview exhibit, 2007 Dec.

Ruth Hall Daly, who organizes the Viewpoints Gallery show each year, writes that “The artists, from self-taught through to the educated professional, beautifully articulate many aspects of the human condition… Whether a work of art is executed by an artist whose method is to clench a paintbrush between his/her teeth or shoot a camera from a wheelchair, it is obvious… that the substance of creative intent, thought and process doesn’t not diminish with disability.”

A reception for “Selections” will be held at the Nott in conjunction with Art Night Schenectady, Friday, Jan. 18, 5-9 p.m.

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Stanley R. Becker ’40 dies

Posted on Dec 11, 2007

Stanley R. Becker '40

Stanley R. Becker ’40, a retired developer and investor for whom the College’s career planning center is named, died Saturday. He was 89.

A memorial service was held Wednesday, Dec. 12, at Yardley and Pino Funeral Home, 94 Pantigo Road, East Hampton, N.Y.

Becker twice funded the renovation of the former Old Gymnasium. In 1981, the building was dedicated as the Stanley R. Becker Hall, home to Admissions and Financial Aid. In 2002, after he funded a conversion, the building was re-dedicated as the Stanley R. Becker Career Center.

Becker once gave the following career advice: “Select a field of employment that you will get great pleasure from, stay with it and work hard because the competition out there is keen.”

In 1978, Becker established the Stanley R. Becker Scholarship, to juniors and seniors in political science who show a promise of contributing to the public good.

He received an honorary degree from the College in 1980, and the Alumni Gold Medal in 2000. He also served as class head agent, chairman of the Annual Fund, and member of the Trustee Board of Advisors, the national committee for the Campaign for Union and the Terrace Council.

Becker, who earned his bachelor’s degree in science, joined the Department of the Interior as a junior topographer after graduation. He joined the Navy in 1942 and was commissioned as an ensign. When he left the service in 1945, he began as a junior construction supervisor on Long Island. As a self-employed builder and real estate developer, he owned the Beckitt Construction Corp. and was owner and operator of Howard Johnson Motor Lodges in Stratford and Hartford, Conn., and at JFK Airport in New York City. In 1969, he was elected chairman of the board of Howard Johnson National Operators Council. He retired in 1984 and formed Stanley R. Becker Investments.

Becker Career Center

Among his community activities, he was on the board of directors of the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation, president of Halsey’s Marina of East Hampton, N.Y.; on the board of governors of the Saugatuck Harbor (Conn.) Yacht Club; and past president of the Rotary Club at JFK Airport.

His interests included trans-Atlantic sailing and collecting historical documents and nautical antiques.

Survivors include his wife, Betty Ann; three daughters, Hilary Oran, Joni Becker and Betsy Salinger;  two stepchildren, Michael and Kim; and seven grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The East Hampton Healthcare Foundation, 200 Pantigo Place, East Hampton, N.Y. 11937 and UJA-Federation of New York.

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December’s Parents Association Newsletter

Posted on Dec 10, 2007

Hallo Parents!

Greetings from a snow – and ice – covered campus! With the exception of some of our student-athletes, most students have left campus to travel home for jobs (and rest!); have left for a mini-term; started an internship; are perhaps off visiting old friends. You’ll all know in just a few days how classes went this term when the grades arrive.

 There are many exciting changes taking place in what was formerly called the Parents Program. As you may know, Pam Ritter, who joined the College in October, is the new Director of Family Leadership Giving. The new mission of Family Leadership Giving will be to work in tandem with the Parents Association and Parent Fund to secure major gifts for Union College from parents, former parents, grandparents and other relatives of students and alumni, to meet the greatest needs of our students. This support will enable us to help Union achieve its ongoing mission to promote learning in a diverse environment through teaching, research, special programs and services. 

Organization overview……

The former Parents Committee has been merged with the Parent’s Association and will be inclusive of all current and former Union Parents. Participation in the Parents Association is open to all parents and will provide all parents with an opportunity to become engaged or volunteer their time or services. Parents are asked to contact directly the following Union representatives for activities, questions and issues regarding their child’s experience at Union.

  • Career Services – Becker Center, Bob Soules 518-388-6176, http://www.union.edu/BeckerCareerCenter/
  • Minerva Program, Tom McEvoy, 518-388-8752
  • Student Activities, Matt Milless, 518-388-6118
  • Greek Life, Timothy Dunn, 518-388-8777
  • Health Services, Sharron McCullough, 518-388-6120
  • Dining Services, Dan Detora
  • Campus Safety, Bill Sickinger, 518-388-6358
  • Terms Abroad, William Thomas, 518-388-6002
  • Residential Life, Todd Clark, 518-388-6117
  • Dean of Students – Stephen Leavitt, and Kate Schurick, 518-388-6116
  • Volunteers, Family Leadership Giving Office, Lisa Mason, 518-388-6601

Karen Dumonet (Vanessa ’07, Sebastian ’09) chairs the Parents Association and writes a monthly newsletter column on the latest campus news from a parent’s perspective, which can be found on the Union web site. Lisa Mason in the Family Leadership Giving Office will coordinate the parent volunteer effort and forward your volunteer choice to the appropriate Union contact.

The Parent Fund will be managed by Liz Epstein in the Union Fund Office and Co-Chairs for the 2007-08 year are Vivian and Peter Falco (Peter ’09). The Parent Fund will be focused on securing gifts from all current and former Union Parents. The Annual Fund Office contact number is 518-388-6142.

Homecoming and Family Weekend and Orientation Weekend activities for parents will be organized to provide all parents an opportunity to meet in an informal setting at their leisure with various campus wide departments and their respective contacts in one location so they can have more time to enjoy their visit with their child and participate in various social activities. 

Last year through the generosity of Union’s Parents, almost $1 million dollars in unrestricted funds was generated for areas such as the Minerva Mentors Program, Writing Center, guest lectures, and designated gifts, a critical component of the Parent’s Fund. We are confident the restructuring of this outstanding program will benefit our students, parents and Union. We look forward to seeing you on campus in the coming months.

If you have any questions or would like to make a suggestion, please contact Pam Ritter, Director of Family Leadership Giving at 518-388-6195 or via email ritterp@union.edu. Thank you!

Here are a few pieces of information to you that we know you’ll be interested to hear: 

The date for Homecoming and Family Weekend 2008 has been set – mark your calendars for October 17-19, 2008. It is strongly recommended that you make your hotel reservations early. You will definitely receive more information as we get closer to the weekend.

Message from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life
We are pleased to announce the creation of the Union College Hazing Hotline.  The Hazing Hotline was created to provide parents, students, and concerned individuals with a way to report activity that may violate the College's Hazing Policy in a secure, confidential manner. 

Matters that need to be reported can be emailed to hazing@union.edu or may be called in to 518-388-6541.  For further information, please contact Timothy Dunn, Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life, via email at dunnt@union.edu

Message from the Becker Career Center
Parents, if you are interested in helping your son/daughter with their career planning, we would suggest starting with the areas below:

1.      Resume
Whether your son or daughter is seeking an internship, full-time employment, or graduate school, a resume will be necessary. 

2.      Cover Letter
For many opportunities, a cover letter is necessary.  Students should know how to craft an effective cover letter.

3.      Networking and Informational interviewing
The most effective way to learn about and secure opportunities is through networking and informational interviewing.  Networking and informational interviewing are important skills that will help students manage their career for a lifetime.

4.      Interviewing
As with other experiences, the more time the student takes to prepare and practice the more likely they will perform better.

5.      Getting practical experience
Research shows that the value of internships is rising.  More and more employers are utilizing internships and more and more employers are converting interns to full-time employment.

 The Becker Career Center can help your student with all of these areas.  All the student needs to do is call 518.388.6176 or stop in for some assistance.

Also, Parents, if you have or know of internship or full-time employment opportunities we would be happy to post the opportunity for our students.

From all of us at the Becker Career Center, have a happy holiday season.

As your young adults and you re-adjust to their being back home for the end of the year holidays, do keep in mind that your family will only live this for a limited number of years! So enjoy the rest of your winter break and your holidays together.  I wish you all the best in this festive season, as well as for you and yours, for 2008!

                                                                        Happy Holidays,



                                                                        Karen Dumonet (Vanessa ’07, Sebastian ’09)
                                                                        Parents Association Chairperson

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‘Tis the Season of Giving

Posted on Dec 6, 2007

With the holidays approaching, the hustle and bustle of the season is in full swing. Don’t forget to include Union as you make your annual contributions to your favorite organizations. Make an immediate impact by visiting our secure website today at https://www.union.edu/Parents. Gifts made online or post marked by December 31, 2007 qualify for the 2007 tax year.

The Parent Fund provides essential support to the College's ongoing activities and new initiatives. Your gift, pooled together with gifts from other generous donors, ensures Union can secure the best students and faculty while continuing to provide the highest quality education.

On behalf of everyone at Union College, thank you for your continued generosity. Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.


Vivian and Peter Falco (Peter '09)
Parent Fund Co-Chairs
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