|August 22, 2006|
Union recognized as good neighbor to city, region
Union College is among the 25 "best neighbor" urban colleges and universities who are being recognized for their positive economic and social benefit to their communities.
The list of "Saviors of our Cities'' includes the University of Southern California, the University of Pennsylvania and George Washington University. It was compiled by Dr. Evan Dobelle, president of the New England Board of Higher Education and former president of Trinity College in Hartford.
Union students enjoy mentoring neighborhood children at the College's Kenney Community Center on Nott Street and Park Place.
Schools were selected based on 10 criteria, including the institution's longstanding involvement with its urban community; the real dollars invested through its foundations and annual budgets; the presence felt from payroll, research and purchasing power; and faculty and student involvement in community service.
"We have a long and solid relationship with the City and the Capital Region more generally and will continue to look for opportunities to partner,'' said Union President Stephen C. Ainlay.
"We are very gratified by this recognition of the College's contributions. Much of this credit goes to former president Roger Hull, who understood early on that the interests of the College and the city of Schenectady and the region are inextricably linked.''
College Park Hall
A report commissioned by Union and completed by the Capital District Regional Planning Commission in August 2004 concluded that Union's positive economic impact on Schenectady County exceeds $185 million annually; the impact on New York state tops $211 million each year.
Union employs roughly 800 people with a total annual payroll of $36 million. According to the report, Union's direct and indirect impact on annual employment in the county accounts for more than 1,700 jobs.
Recent construction projects at the College have totaled more than $38 million, including the renovation of the former Ramada Inn into a residence hall and conference center, remediation of the associated brownfields and revitalization of the College Park neighborhood.
1. University of Southern California - Los Angeles, California
2. University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
3. University of Dayton – Dayton, Ohio
4. IUPUI – Indianapolis, Indiana
5. Rhode Island School of Design – Providence, Rhode Island
6. Case-Western University – Cleveland, Ohio
7. Clark University - Worcester, Massachusetts
8. Virginia Commonwealth University – Richmond, Virginia
9. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
10. Emerson College – Boston, Massachusetts
11. Trinity College – Hartford, Connecticut
12. University of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
13. Mercer University - Macon, Georgia
14. Middlesex Community College – Lowell, Massachusetts
15. George Washington University - Washington, DC
16. Carnegie-Mellon University – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
17. Portland State University – Portland, Oregon
18. University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
19. College of Charleston – Charleston, South Carolina
20. Springfield College – Springfield, Massachusetts
21. Emory University - Atlanta, Georgia
22. Union College – Schenectady, New York
23. University of Missouri – Kansas City – Kansas City, Missouri
24. Miami-Dade College – Miami, Florida
25. Creighton University – Omaha, Nebraska
"The extraordinary efforts of these and other colleges have made higher education one of the great growth industries in America,'' Dobelle said, "and have given a sense of confidence and hope as well as stability to cities that would otherwise be struggling in a world of mergers, downsizing and global outsourcing that has eroded the traditional urban economic base."
Union College is also included in the top tier of the country's leading liberal arts colleges, according to U.S. News and World Report's annual rankings. The College is ranked 39th out of 215 schools in the 2007 edition of America's Best Colleges. Last month, the New York Times included the College in its list of 20 "hidden gems" in the higher education landscape.