Union College Photo Tour

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Union College

Nott Memorial at Union College
Nott Memorial at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

Union College in Schenectady, New York (not to be confused with the Union Colleges in Lincoln, Nebraska, or Barbourville, Kentucky), is a private liberal arts college with a long history dating back to 1795. The college emphasizes interdisciplinary learning in a globally connected world. More than 60% of Union's students study abroad, and the school's engineering facilities and programs provide greater breadth of academics than a typical small liberal arts college. The college fosters close relationships between professors and students with its 10 to 1 student / faculty ratio, and average class sizes of 18 for intro courses and 15 for upper-level courses.

Union College's attractive 130-acre campus is located in downtown Schenectady, a city of 60,000 located northwest of Albany. The campus features numerous green spaces and gardens. Standing prominently in the heart of the main courtyard is the Nott Memorial (pictured above), an unusual 16-sided building constructed between 1858 and 1875. The building underwent extensive renovation in the 1990s. Today, Nott is used for a range of functions including lectures, conferences, exhibitions, and study.

Continue the Union College Photo Tour...

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Grant Hall, the Admissions Center at Union College

Grant Hall (Admissions Center) at Union College
Grant Hall (Admissions Center) at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

This attractive Victorian house (built in 1898) will be one of your first stops if you visit the Union College Campus. Grant Hall is home to the offices of Admissions and Financial Aid. You'll want to head over to Grant Hall to arrange a campus tour, set up an interview, and learn about options for funding your education.

Union College is selective. In 2013, 37% of applicants were admitted, and nearly all had GPAs and standardized test scores that were well above average (note, however, that Union College is test-optional, so applicants need not submit SAT or ACT scores). The college does well on the financial aid front--over 75% of students receive grant aid with an average award of $23,211 in the 2012-13 academic year.

Learn more about Union College's costs and admissions standards in these articles:

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Reamer Campus Center at Union College

Reamer Campus Center at Union College
Reamer Campus Center at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

Another popular location for both Union students and visitors is the Reamer Campus Center, home to a wide range of services. Many student services and groups have their offices in Reamer including the Greek Life Office, WRUC radio, the LGBTQ Ally Program, and Concordiensis, the college newspaper. Union boasts the first college radio station in the country -- the student-run WRUC has been broadcasting since 1920. Campus life is active at Union with over 100 student clubs and organizations.

The Reamer Campus Center is also home to the college's main dining hall, a food court, an organic marketplace, a movie theater, a prayer and meditation room, and the student mail room. If you want to pick up a Union sweatshirt, head over to the Union Bookstore in Reamer.

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Becker Career Center at Union College

Becker Career Center at Union College
Becker Career Center at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove
Union College supports its students in their search for internships, jobs, and graduate programs. The Becker Career Center provides students with access to a database of internship and job opportunities posted by alumni and employers looking for Union students. The Career Center also provides services to help students be competitive on the job market. Students can receive help crafting their resumes, writing cover letters, researching job and internship opportunities, and preparing for interviews. The Career Center hosts speakers, career fairs, and workshops to help students reach their professional aspirations.
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Old Chapel at Union College

Old Chapel at Union College
Old Chapel at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

 Old Chapel dates back to the early days of the Union College campus when it was called Geological Hall and was home to both the campus chapel (that students had to attend daily) and science classrooms. Today the building houses the Rathskellar, a popular snack bar, and the Ozone Café which serves lunches made with local ingredients. During good weather, students can eat outside in Mrs. Perkins Garden, a quaint space surrounded by flowers during my visit. On the third floor you'll find the International Programs Office. Union students have a wide range of options for full-term and mini-term study abroad experiences.

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Beuth House at Union College

Beuth House at Union College
Beuth House at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

Beuth House is one of the seven Minerva Houses at Union College. Every student at Union belongs to a Minerva House, and some students have the privilege of living in the houses. Beuth House is named in honor of Philip R. Beuth, a Trustee Emeritus of Union and an ABC executive who graduated in 1954 with a degree in English.

The Minerva Houses are each home to roughly 30 to 50 upper-class students. Each house has a budget for events, and the co-ed floors include single and double rooms. The houses contain kitchens, laundry facilities, entertainment equipment, and a meeting space where Minerva events take place. Faculty members are also members of each Minerva, and activities include discussions, film screenings, and barbecues.

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Bailey Hall at Union College

Bailey Hall at Union College
Bailey Hall at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

Bailey Hall is one of Union College's academic building and is home to the Math Department, Psychology Department, and Opportunity Programs.

Psychology occupies the third floor of the building, and it is one of Union's most popular majors (along with Economics). In 2013, over 60 students graduated from Union with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. The Math office is on the second floor of Bailey. Math is a much smaller major (11 graduating students in 2013), but the program plays a key role in supporting the college's core curriculum as well as majors in science, engineering, and economics fields.

Located on the first floor of Bailey, the college's Academic Opportunity Program (AOP) and Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) provide financial, academic and personal support for students who meet certain educational and economic criteria.

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Jackson's Garden at Union College

Jackson's Garden at Union College
Jackson's Garden at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove
I visited Union on a beautiful day in June, and I was impressed by the campus's many gardens and green spaces. The largest, Jackson's Garden, is an eight-acre space with a creek, flower and herb gardens, lawns, wooded areas and walking paths. The campus as a whole is pleasingly maintained and landscaped with an abundance of lawns, courtyards, trees, flowers, and open spaces.
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Memorial Chapel at Union College

Memorial Chapel at Union College
Memorial Chapel at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

Memorial Chapel was built in 1925 in honor of the Union students who lost their lives in the World War I. The building is used for a wide range of events -- visiting speakers (including Maya Angelou in 2007), Opening Convocation, awards ceremonies, and the annual Baccalaureate Ceremony. If you are flexible enough and not afraid of high places, be sure to make friends with someone who plays the bells in the tower of Memorial Chapel. After working your way up through some tiny doors and stairways, you'll arrive at the bell levers, and one more climb and you'll be rewarded with a beautiful view of campus.

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Schaffer Library at Union College

Schaffer Library at Union College
Schaffer Library at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

Schaffer Library is the central research and study space at Union College. The library holds close to a million print and electonic books, and the library subscribes to 11,500 journals, newspapers, and magazines. The library is also home to the college's Writing Center, Language Lab, Archives, and Special Collections. Students will also find numerous quiet study areas and group study rooms in Schaffer.

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F. W. Olin Center at Union College

F. W. Olin Center at Union College
F. W. Olin Center at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove
The F. W. Olin Center at Union College is easy to spot with its rooftop observatory towering over the surrounding buildings. The observatory houses a 20-inch optical telescope and a 7.5' radio telescope that are used for courses in physics and astronomy. The Olin Center is home to Union's Geology Department as well as a multimedia auditorium. The Olin Center is connected to the Wold Center by the MacLean Family Atrium, a two-level meeting space with a café.
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Frank Bailey Field at Union College

Frank Bailey Field at Union College
Frank Bailey Field at Union College. Photo Credit; Allen Grove

A significant percentage of Union students participate in athletics. The college competes in the NCAA Division III Liberty League with colleges including RPI, Bard College, St. Lawrence University, Skidmore College, Vassar College, Clarkson University, RIT, and Hobart & William Smith College. The Union Dutchmen and Dutchwomen compete in sports including basketball, football, crew, volleyball, cross country, soccer, swimming & diving, track & field, tennis and lacrosse. The Union hockey teams compete in the NCAA Division I ECAC Hockey.

Pictured here is Frank Bailey Field with its stadium and press box. Surrounding the field is a 400-meter resilite track. The stadium seats up to 1,600 spectators, and the facility is used for lacrosse, football, field hockey, and track and field events. 

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Breazzano Fitness Center at Alumni Gymnasium, Union College

Breazzano Fitness Center at Alumni Gymnasium, Union College
Breazzano Fitness Center at Alumni Gymnasium, Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove
Named after donor and college trustee David Breazzano (Union, Class of 1978), the Breazzano Fitness Center was dedicated in 2008 and features a range of state-of-the-art exercise equipment. Other fitness areas in Alumni Gymnasium include a 5,000 square-foot weight room, a 25-meter swimming book, 5 racquetball courts and 3 squash courts. The college also has a 3,000 square-foot strength training facility for the exclusive use of varsity athletes at Union.
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Science and Engineering at Union College

Science and Engineering at Union College
Science and Engineering at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

Few liberal arts colleges in the country have engineering programs, but Union is strong on this front (Smith College and Swarthmore College are two other examples, although Union's programs are more robust). The Science and Engineering Center pictured above is home to the biological sciences, chemistry, physics and engineering. Within these academic areas, students can choose from a range of majors: biochemistry, bioengineering, biology, chemistry, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and neuroscience. Among these majors, biology, mechanical engineering and neuroscience are the most popular.

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Wold Center at Union College

Wold Center at Union College
Wold Center at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

The Wold Center is the newest building on the Union College campus. the 35,000-square-foot facility. The building was designed with Union's emphasis on interdisciplinary learning in mind. The open design of the public spaces is works to foster collaboration between people and disciplines.

The building was constructed with sustainability in mind, and the Wold Center is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification. The college's sustainability efforts are clear with building features such as a photovoltaic array, solar thermal collection and storage system, ground source heat pump, and many renewable and recycled building materials.

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Butterfield Hall at Union College

Butterfield Hall at Union College
Butterfield Hall at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

Butterfield Hall, located directly across from Frank Bailey Field, is another of Union College's science and engineering buildings. Bioengineering, computational biology, and neuroscience all have offices and facilities in the building. Thanks to a recent grant from the National Science Foundation, Union recently constructed the Center for Neuroscience on the third floor of Butterfield. The center includes faculty space, research labs, and training areas. Neuroscience is a rapidly growing field at Union. In 2003 the program graduated its first student, and in 2013 it had 24 graduating students.

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Lippman Hall at Union College

Lippman Hall at Union College
Lippman Hall at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

Located on the north end of the Union College's main courtyard, Lippman Hall is one of the pillared buildings facing the iconic Nott Memorial. Lippman is home to Union's programs in History, Economics, Political Science and Sociology. All are popular programs at Union, especially Economics.

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Messa House at Union College

Messa House at Union College
Messa House at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove
Messa House, like Beuth House, is one of the seven Minerva Houses on the Union College campus. Along with Green, Wold, and Sorum Houses, Messa is similar to a traditional dormitory and houses roughly 50 students. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can all apply to live in one of the Minerva Houses during the Minerva housing lottery. Messa House is located next to Wold House on the north-west corner of the main campus green.
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West Hall at Union College

West Hall at Union College
West Hall at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove
West Hall is home to 168 first-year students at Union College. The residence hall has a prominent location on the west side of the university green. West features both single and double rooms, lounges on every floor, laundry facilities, and a large dining hall. Most first-year students live in either West Hall or Richmond Hall, while upper-class students have options including the college's Minerva Houses, fraternities and sororities, theme houses, and nearby apartment-style residences.
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Yulman Performing Arts Center at Union College

Yulman Performing Arts Center at Union College
Yulman Performing Arts Center at Union College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

Located on the northwest corner of campus near Jackson's Garden, the Yulman Performing Arts Center is home to Union College's Department of Theater and Dance. The building has two performance spaces, a design studio, and scenic and costume shops. The college puts on several dance and theater productions every year, and Union Students also have the opportunity to do a London theater mini-term.

More Great Schools in Upstate New York: Alfred University | Bard College | Binghamton UniversityClarkson University | Colgate University | Cornell UniversityHamilton CollegeIthaca College | RPIRochester Institute of Technology (RIT)Siena College | Skidmore College | University of Rochester | Vassar College