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Union College reaches goal; campaign continues



With seven weeks until the official close of the “You are Union” campaign, Union has topped its goal of $250 million in the largest and most comprehensive fundraising campaign in its history, College leaders announced at an alumni event held tonight. 

The campaign, publicly launched in 2004 and expanded by $50 million in 2008, has been transformative for the College, bolstering student scholarships and financial aid, faculty support, research programs, campus facilities and other priority needs outlined in the school’s strategic plan.

“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of so many alumni and friends of Union College,” said President Stephen C. Ainlay. “Believing in the mission of Union College and the difference it makes, they have contributed to the “You are Union” campaign even in the face of an economically challenging environment. They have transformed the face of our campus, providing remarkable educational opportunities, and made a Union education accessible to so many. I cannot thank enough all those who’ve supported the College at this critical time.”

Frank Messa ’73, campaign co-chair and College Trustee, attributed the success of the campaign to President Ainlay and his wife, Judith Gardner Ainlay.

“It is clear to anyone involved with the campaign that the most critical factor has been the efforts of Stephen and Judith,” said Messa. “Not only have they been directly responsible for raising the most funds but more importantly, they have elevated every aspect of the Union College experience, thereby providing the inspiration and momentum for the successful completion of this historic campaign. We simply could not have done it without them.”

Gifts totaling more than $40 million were directed toward financial aid, enabling the College to attract the best and brightest students from around the country and the world. This included the creation of more than 100 new scholarships to help make Union more affordable and accessible.

Another $40 million was designated for faculty support, allowing the College to attract and retain first-rate professors and scholars. A portion of this will go toward funding new professorships in areas such as religious studies, statistics, philosophy, biology, classics and mathematics. Over $27 million is earmarked for curriculum and program activities, faculty and undergraduate research opportunities, and student life enhancements.

The outpouring of support for the campaign from close to 34,000 donors includes over 60 percent of all alumni. Additional support, including grants from foundations, corporations and government agencies, also enables the College to add cutting-edge instrumentation to its labs, provide summer internship opportunities for students, and expand its offerings and facilities in growing areas such as bioengineering and neuroscience.

Capital projects of over $32 million supported by the campaign include:

  • The Peter Irving Wold Center
  • The Minerva Houses
  • Lippman Hall
  • The Viniar Athletic Center
  • Messa Rink
  • The Breazzano Fitness Center
  • The Taylor Music Center
  • The Henle Dance Pavilion
  • The Wicker Wellness Center

Contributions to the campaign include gifts to the Annual Fund ($71 million), which provides Union with important resources to ensure that the College continues to redefine liberal education for the 21st century.

“Thanks to the leadership of President Ainlay and the outpouring of support from our volunteers and donors, Union College has triumphed over these past four difficult years to complete this effort with momentum going forward,” said Stephen A. Dare, vice president of College Relations.

The campaign continues through Dec. 31, 2012. For more information, contact Dare at 518-388-6180.

To learn more about the campaign, click here.