Fun Facts

Alumni Gymnasium dates to 1914. For most of the 1900s, the gym was used for concerts, dinners and dances. The gym had a prominent role as a period dance hall in the 1973 Academy Award-winning film, "The Way We Were."

Alumni Gymnasium houses Union's Breazzano Fitness Center, completed in 2006 and made possible by a gift from David Breazzano '78.

Alexander Field, home to the intercollegiate softball team and a practice field for other popular sports, was named in 1913 for lawyer and journalist Robert C. Alexander, Class of 1880, who organized the Union College Alumni Association of New York. He was named a life trustee of the College in 1890.

The Frank Bailey Athletic Field and Track was the site of Robert Redford's sprints in the Academy Award-winning movie, “The Way We Were,” filmed at Union in 1973 and co-starring Barbra Streisand.

Bailey Field is named for Frank Bailey, Class of 1885, who served as treasurer of the College for half a century.

The Frank L. Messa (’73) Rink at Achilles Center is the home of Union's Division I ice hockey teams.

Memorial Fieldhouse, which hosts indoor track meets, basketball games, open houses and concerts, was completed in 1955, the first indoor practice space for all sports.

The Viniar Athletic Center (named for David Viniar ’76) houses the men's and women's intercollegiate basketball team and the volleyball team. It opened in 2004.

The dormitory windowsill bearing the carved initials of Chester Arthur, the 21st U.S. president and an 1848 Union graduate, has been exhibited in museums around the country.

The Union College seal, embedded in concrete outside Memorial Chapel, was first used in 1921.

In good weather, Mrs. Perkins' Garden is home to the popular student-run Café Ozone.

Silliman Hall, the original student union and now home to Union’s registrar and health facilities, was once a YMCA.

The Visual Arts Building is adjacent to the Taylor Music Center, which opened in 2007, thanks to support from area businessmen and brothers James W. Taylor ’66 and John E. Taylor '74.

The first occupant of the northern faculty apartment in South College was Eliphalet Nott.

A durable local legend, never confirmed by historians, holds that in 1672, the villagers of Schenectady burned a local maiden at the stake by Hans Groot’s Kill and that the ghost of the dead girl has haunted Jackson’s Garden ever since.

The Wold Center is named in honor of Peter Irving Wold, chair of Union’s physics department from 1919 to 1945.

Both Social Sciences and Humanities, which flank the College’s library, broke ground in June 1965, completing the campus Ramée plan, which had called for buildings and colonnades of similar configurations.

From 1968 through 1995, Lamont House was the headquarters of the College’s development and alumni programs.

Schaffer Library contains several of the College’s most prized possessions, including the original Ramée campus drawings, the original College charter, the rare “Elephant Folio” edition of Audubon’s Birds of America, which the College purchased directly from the artist, the Trianon editions of William Blake’s works, and the first books bought for the library in 1795.

After renovation in 2011, the Social Sciences Building was renamed Lippman Hall in honor of Robert Lippman '50 through a gift by his son, Jim Lippman ’79, and his wife, Linda.

Schaffer Library is named for Henry Schaffer, a self-made Schenectady businessman and philanthropist.

Union was the first American college to teach engineering and also the first to instruct students in French when classical Latin and Greek were the order of the day.

Etched on a windowsill in North College are the initials of 21st U.S. President Chester A. Arthur, who graduated in Union’s Class of 1848.

In 2006, the Nott Memorial became an even more striking presence when a group of sorority sisters helped "Tie the Nott" with an enormous pink ribbon to raise money for breast cancer awareness and research.

The Yulman Theater is home to the Mountebanks, the oldest student performing organization in the country.

West College, framed in the distance by the Mohawk River Valley, once known as the "gateway to the West," is a co-ed, first-year student residence.

Until the 1950s, faculty members had permission to graze their livestock on campus fields and lawns. Today, we use lawn mowers.

Butterfield Hall was built on North Lane in 1917-18 for the Chemistry Department. In 1971, it became part of the Science and Engineering Center.

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Union College President Stephen Ainlay shows off some of his favorite places on campus.

200 Years of the Union Campus


The 200 Days of Ramée:
November 19, 2012 - June 16, 2013

The Union College campus is a milestone in the history of American collegiate architecture, for Joseph Ramée's 1813 master plan was the most ambitious and innovative design for an American school up to that time and became a model for later campuses.

Please help us commemorate this occasion by posting your photos, leaving your comments and adding your Youtube videos to the College's playlist. (Please include "Ramée anniversary" somewhere in the description of your media.)

Thank you.

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