Admissions Office
Lani Waggoner '24

Lani Waggoner '24

Job Title
Admissions Interviewer
Admissions Interviewers

Why did you choose Union?
Growing up in Portland, Oregon taught me that I have an affinity for two things––being outdoors and the big city bustle. In my college search, I did my best to employ this knowledge about myself and select a school that was within proximity to both a large city and the outdoors. I, like every other west coaster, dreamed of one day renting a tiny studio apartment in New York City and living amongst thousands of others who were filled with ambition and drive. However, I knew that I would not make it a week in NYC before needing to get out and find a country road to drive down. So, I set my sights upstate.

While other colleges felt very much like they were trying to imitate the big city nature of NYC, Union stood out to me for doing the opposite. The campus was comfortable and inviting, and upperclass students immediately offered me and my family smiles and directions around campus. To make my decision even easier, only two hours north of Union is some of the best hiking I have experienced. By the time college decisions were due, my mind was made. Union was the best and, yet, most effortless choice I have made thus far; I find more ways to appreciate my time here year by year.

How do you describe Union to your friends and family?
Union is a college that sits proudly in upstate New York, surrounded by a quaint, charming town. On fall weekends, I grab friends and drive 20 minutes to Thacher State Park and soak in the beautiful foliage or do a little rock climbing. In the winter, we pack up our skis and hit the slopes. In the spring, I throw on my hiking boots and check off as many of the 46 high peaks I can before the weather turns cold again.

The students are kind and hard-working, and have taught me the balance between work and play. My new favorite food is bagels, and my friend and I have a standing date every Saturday morning at a new bagel spot. The professors within my major have been nothing but supportive of me throughout my attempts to find what I am passionate about, and the staff willing to throw me a smile when I am up early in the academic buildings working on assignments.

On breaks, I am able to see my friends who go to school in New York City and be a wide-eyed tourist, or visit my sister at West Point and catch up. It seems like I never run out of things to be excited about. I do not think I could find a place that better suits me if I tried.

What has been your favorite class assignment at Union?
My scholar's research seminar during my first year had a theme of Time, and I chose to research yoga in the 1930’s and Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements for my final project. I still use the techniques I learned about time perception now when I meditate and do yoga, and I have a wider knowledge of library resources for it.

What is your favorite place off-campus in Schenectady?
My favorite thing to do off-campus is grab a friend or a warm drink after class and head over to the Kelly Adirondack Center to get some work done. The beautiful scenery makes for a calming atmosphere and helps me relax while finishing assignments.