Union Notables Archive

Chester Alan Arthur  Class of 1848

Chester Arthur was the twenty-first president of the United States (1881-1885).

Andrea Barrett  Class of 1974

A Biology major at Union, Barrett went on to become an acclaimed novelist, winner of the National Book Award in 1996, and a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.
Photo on display in the English Department, Humanities Building.

Theodore R. Berger Class of 1972

Dr. Theodore W. Berger is the David Packard Professor of Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Neurobiology, and Director of the Center for Neural Engineering at the University of Southern California.

Philip R. Beuth Class of 1954

Philip Beuth was a producer and president of various television and radio programs including the top rated Good Morning America and the groundbreaking TV series In A New Light that rose the awareness of AIDS from 1992 - 1995.

John Bigelow Class of 1835

Actively involved in the Democratic Party and a strong supporter of abolition, Bigelow was instrumental in the establishment of the New York Public Library.
Photo on display on the first floor of Schaffer Library

Helena Binder Class of 1976

Helena Binder is known as an actress, director of plays and musicals, and director of opera.

Baruch Samuel Blumberg  Class of 1946

Baruch Blumberg, M.D. is an internationally renowned physician, researcher, and scholar, who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1976 for the discovery of the hepatitis B virus.
Photo on display in the Biology Department, Science and Engineering Center

Daniel Butterfield Class of 1849

Daniel Butterfield won the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1892 for his heroic service in the Civil War and composed the enduring lights-out call "Taps."

Charles Frederick Chandler (1836-1925)

Chandler was considered to be one of the leading Chemists of his generation. He taught the first laboratory class in analytical chemistry on an American college campus at Union in 1859.
Photo on display in the Chemistry Department, Science and Engineering Building

Estelle Cooke-Sampson Class of 1974

One of the hundred women in Union's first coed class, Cooke-Sampson is a highly respected member of the medical and academic communities in the field of Radiology.

Dr. Lee Losee Davenport  Class of 1931

Dr. Davenport was a physicist famous for his development of anti-aircraft radar that was crucial in the Allied victory in World War II.

Philip G. DiSorbo   Class of 1971

As Executive Director of Community Hospice and later co-founder and executive director of the Foundation for Hospice in Sub-Saharan Africa, Philip DiSorbo's work embodies the idea of "carrying your humanity with you".

Ruth Anne Evans (1924-2001)

Evans was one of the most accomplished librarians and most knowledgeable college historians to ever work at Union College.
Photo on display in the Schaffer Library

Armand V. and Donald S. Feigenbaum 
Class of 1942 & 1946

The Feigenbaum brothers founded General Systems Company, an engineering firm that designs and helps implement operational systems for corporations worldwide.

Franklin Henry Giddings Class of 1878

Franklin H. Giddings wrote the first sociology textbook in the United States, Principles of Sociology, and was a Union College Trustee for twenty-five years.

Sue J. Goldie Class of 1984

Named a MacArthur Fellow in 2005 for her application of Decision Science methods, Goldie develops complex models of the effects various interventions have on populations with diseases.
Photo on display in the Biology Department, Science and Engineering Building

Gordon Gould Class of 1941

A physicist widely recognized as the inventor of the laser (1920-2005).
Photo on display in the Physics Department, Science and Engineering Center

Robert Holland Jr. Class of 1962

Holland is known for his work as CEO of Ben & Jerry's in the 1990s; he is currently a General Partner with Williams Capital Partners and with the West Africa Fund.

Alan F. Horn Class of 1964

Alan F. Horn is President and Chief Operating Officer of Warner Bros. Entertainment. Among the films produced under Horn’s aegis are some of the Studio’s most popular and profitable, including the six films in the Harry Potter series.

Franklin B. Hough Class of 1843

Franklin B. Hough is remembered as the “Father of American Forestry.” Hough was born in 1822 in Martinsburg, just outside the western edge of the Adirondacks.

Hough Class of 1940

Edward Kane served as the president of one of the nation’s largest, science-based products companies, DuPont.

Ilene S. Landress Class of 1983

Landress reflects on the irony of what she does for a living by stating that “….my whole life my mother said, ‘Get off the phone and stop watching TV!’” Her successful career includes producing HBO’s highly acclaimed The Sopranos.

Fitz Hugh Ludlow Class of 1856

A poet, critic, fiction and travel writer, and journalist, Fitz Hugh Ludlow was the author of The Hasheesh Eater (1857).

Lewis Henry Morgan Class of 1840

A pioneer in the field of Anthropology, who developed theory of cultural evolution (1818-1881).
Photo on display in the Anthropology Department, Social Sciences Building

Robert Porter Patterson Class of 1912

As Under Secretary of War from 1940-1945, Robert Patterson was responsible for mobilizing and organizing America's industrial resources to manufacture supplies necessary to the United States and its allies during World War II.

John Howard Payne (1791-1852)

The author of the poem Home Sweet Home, Payne attended Union College from 1806 - 1808.

Edward T. Potter (class of 1854)

Architect Edward Tuckerman Potter designed the Nott Memorial, the President's House and the Feigenbaum Administration Building, as well as the Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT and several churches now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Joseph Ramée

It was Ramée who helped make the campus a distinctly new college model for post-Revolutionary America. - See more at: http://reboot.union.edu/library/digital-collections/notables/notables/#sthash.y3eoZz9k.dpuf

Phil Alden Robinson Class of 1971

Film writer, director, and producer, including Field of Dreams and Sneakers (1950 - ). Photo on display in Reamer Campus Center

Richard Selzer Class of 1948

“Blood and ink, in my hands, have a certain similarity,” Richard Selzer ’48 once wrote. “When you hold a scalpel, blood is shed; when you hold a pen, ink is spilled. Something is let in each of these acts.”

William Henry Seward Class of 1820

Best known as Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State, Seward was first a N.Y. State Senator, Governor of New York, U.S. Senator, and presidential candidate running against Lincoln in 1860.
Photo on display in the Political Science Department, Social Sciences Building

Howard Simons Class of 1951

As Managing Editor of the Washington Post from 1971 to 1984 Simons was a key figure in its Watergate investigation.

Charles Proteus Steinmetz Union Faculty, 1902-1923

Steinmetz made significant contributions to the development of electricity as an engineer and inventor, and was also an influential and inspiring educator.
Photo on display on the first floor of the Steinmetz Building

Nikki Stone Class of 1995

Nikki Stone is known for winning the gold medal for aerial skiing in the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Allen Wright  Class of 1852

There are those nineteenth-century Union graduates whose names and deeds are less well known, but whose lives and achievements were nevertheless important to their communities and to the nation. Allen Wright is just such an alum.

Joseph Christopher Yates Union College Board of Trustees, 1795 - 1837

Joseph Christopher Yates was a lawyer, statesman, politician and founding trustee of Union College. As Mayor of Schenectady Yates helped to pass the the construction of the Erie Canal, and aided in pushing electoral votes for Presidential elections.