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Union College holds original edition of Audubon’s ‘Birds of America’

Posted on Dec 8, 2010

In advance of an auction by Sotheby's of an original edition of John James Audubon's "Birds of America," the Daily Gazette featured the College's edition, one of about 135 still in existence. Union's president, Eliphalet Nott, paid $1,000 in gold for the four-volume set of 435 life-size bird watercolors in 1844, one of the most elebrated books of the 19th century.

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Union receives major gift from Goldman Sachs Gives

Posted on Dec 7, 2010

Union has received a major commitment to the college – a $1 million gift that will provide scholarships for students over the next four years. The gift is from Goldman Sachs Gives, the firm’s donor-advised fund. Through Goldman Sachs Gives, the firm’s partners recommend a part of their overall compensation to non-profit and charitable organizations.

The donation was made at the recommendation of David Viniar '76, the chief financial officer of Goldman Sachs. A member of the College's Board of Trustees, Viniar is a generous benefactor to the school.

“Union College provided me with an outstanding education that was the foundation of my career,” Viniar said. “We hope this gift from Goldman Sachs Gives will help students enter and complete college and open opportunities for years to come.”

The gift will allow the College to award up to $250,000 for need-based scholarships to some members of the Class of 2014. These scholarships will continue in subsequent years until the gift is spent.

The College meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all students. The average need-based scholarship at Union is $29,000.

“This gift allows us to help even more of our students and their families, particularly those who have been hurt by the economic downturn,” said Matt Malatesta, vice president for Admissions, Financial Aid and Enrollment. “We just wrapped up one of our most competitive recruiting seasons ever, and it’s important that we be able to make a substantial difference in helping students who want to experience a Union education.”

The 565 students in the Class of 2014 were chosen from more than 4,900 applications, the second largest number of candidates ever to apply to Union. The class is also one of the strongest academically, with nearly three-quarters ranked in the top 10 percent of their class.

“For Union to continue to attract the best and brightest, it’s critical that we find ways to support students during these difficult economic times,” said President Stephen C. Ainlay. “We are extremely grateful for this gift from Goldman Sachs Gives, which will help us in our mission to make a college education more affordable for those who choose Union.”

Union College, founded in 1795 as the first college chartered by the New York State Board of Regents, offers programs ranging from the arts, science, humanities, social sciences and engineering to 2,100 undergraduates of high academic promise and strong personal motivation. Union, with its long history of blending disciplines, is a leader in educating students to be engaged, innovative and ethical contributors to an increasingly diverse, global and technologically complex society.

The College is among the country’s leading liberal arts colleges, according to U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings, the Princeton Review’s “The Best 371 Colleges,” and the “Fiske Guide to Colleges,” which features 330 of the country's best and most interesting colleges and universities.

Goldman Sachs Gives is a donor-advised fund—a public charity that maintains individual accounts for donors who recommend grants to qualified non-profit organizations from their accounts. Established in 2007, Goldman Sachs Gives enables Goldman Sachs and its people to leverage their donations to charities in the communities where they live and work, or elsewhere around the globe. The focus of this contribution is on those areas that have been proven to be fundamental to creating jobs and economic growth, building and stabilizing communities, honoring service and veterans and increasing educational opportunities.

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College mourns Professor Frederick Klemm

Posted on Dec 2, 2010

Frederick A. Klemm, the professor emeritus of German known as “the father of Terms Abroad,” died Monday, Nov. 29, 2010. He was 97.

Prof. Frederick Klemm

Klemm, who taught at Union from 1947 to 1978, inaugurated the College’s Terms Abroad program by guiding a group of 28 students to Vienna, Austria in spring 1969.

An inveterate traveler with an unflappable manner and a keen attention to detail, Klemm was well-suited to lead students in foreign lands. He traveled widely with his wife, Eleanor (Frau Klemm to students), whom he credited as the inspiration for what he called “Union’s first organized invasion into classrooms abroad.” He visited 102 countries and all 50 U.S. states.

Klemm and his students were well aware of their pioneering role.

“We were like the Mercury astronauts,” said Ira Rutkow ’70. “We knew this would change Union College.” Stephen J. Ciesinski ’70 said, “We knew this was kind of an experiment, and we all wanted to make it work.”

Klemm was director of Terms Abroad from 1970 through 1977. He also served as chair of Modern Languages and chair of the Humanities division. As director of the Extension Division of evening classes and the GE apprentice program, Klemm got to know a number of rising engineers and Navy officers. One was future President Jimmy Carter, who trained for eight months under the Union-GE program.

A scholar, Klemm did research on German dramatist Gerhart Hauptmann, author of the novella, "The Heretic of Soana." He wrote articles in Germanic Review, German Quarterly, Modern Language Review, American-German Review and Monatshefte. He served as director of the New York State Federation of Foreign Language Teachers, vice president of the American Association of Teachers of German, and secretary of the German Literature Section of the Modern Language Association.

He earned an undergraduate degree from Dickinson College, a master’s from Duke University and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946.

A longtime resident of Regent Street in Niskayuna, he was active in the community. He served as president of the Grand Boulevard Fire Company, chair of the Board of Trustees for the Union Presbyterian Church, director of Planned Parenthood’s annual drive and a member of the consolidation committee for Niskayuna schools. He received the Capital District Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Since 1996, Klemm lived at the Beverwyck Retirement Community in Slingerlands, N.Y., a suburb of Albany, and made regular visits to campus. He was a guest of honor last year at a tribute dinner for Ciesinski, past chairman of the Board of Trustees and a student on the 1969 Vienna trip. In 2002, Klemm and his wife were honored by the College, and his photograph was unveiled in the International Programs office. He received the Faculty Meritorious Service Award from the Alumni Council when he retired in 1978.

Survivors include two sons, Dr. R. Christopher Klemm of Corvallis, Ore., and W. Jeffrey Klemm of McLean, Va.; and a daughter, Virginia K. Wells of Springfield, Va., and her husband, Dr. William C. Wells ’64. He is also survived by a dear friend, Adelaide deBeer Muhlfelder at Beverwyck. He was predeceased by a son, Edward Jonathan Klemm.

Funeral services are private.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Frederick A. and Eleanor G. Klemm Scholarship at Union College.

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