Uniquely Union: Supporting a powerful blend of liberal arts & engineering

Karen P'18 and Richard Delaney ’80, P'18 believe in the College and know it “has an extraordinary opportunity in the higher education space.” That’s why they made a gift to the President’s Discretionary Fund for Engineering at Union.

Faculty working with students

The fund provides flexible support for the Templeton Institute for Engineering and Computer Science, and the College’s broader efforts to blend engineering and the liberal arts. Funded primarily by Rich and Mary Templeton, both Class of 1980, the institute is being developed to integrate engineering and computer science across campus and to support the recruitment and retention of women pursuing a degree in these disciplines.

“I was a mechanical engineering major, but I ended up going into operations and managing technology through people,” said Rich, who retired as senior vice president of global operations at PepsiCo International. “Union offers something that precious few schools have – strength in the technical fields and in the liberal arts.”

Karen and Rich have also seen how Union’s unique approach to undergraduate education has benefited and inspired their daughter, Julia ’18.

“As a professional photographer who is also starting out in cinematography, Julia has excellent facility with lighting, sound, videography and other technologies,” said Karen, a retired early intervention and preschool teacher. “She has a solid foundation beneath her. She majored in anthropology, minored in the visual arts and her experience at Union enabled her to find her niche.”

Karen and Rich want the entire Union community – alumni, parents, students, employees and friends of the College – to know that giving back is important.

“A gift can be small, but it shows your support for the organization and makes you feel like you are part of something that matters,” they said. “Unrestricted and semi-restricted dollars are worth their weight in gold. We have the confidence that Union will use our dollars well.”

Rich joined the Union College Board of Trustees in May 2020 and is also a member of Union’s Ad Hoc Engineering Committee.

To learn more about Propelling the Liberal Arts and Engineering at Union, please contact Scott Rava, assistant vice president for principal gifts and campaign director, at ravas@union.edu or (518) 388-6481.

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