Union Notables is a celebration of the great men and women who have studied and worked at Union from its founding in 1795 to the present day. Union College has a rich and wonderful past, and has helped shape some of the greatest minds of the 19th and 20th centuries. As we move into the future, we continue to look back at those who have been here before us, and at their extraordinary achievements.

  • Chester Alan Arthur

    Chester Alan Arthur (1829-1881) Class of 1848

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

    Andrea Barrett (1954-) Class of 1974

    Born in Boston on November 16, 1954, Andrea Barrett grew up on Cape Cod and came to Union College to major in Biology.
  • Theodore R. Berger

    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

    Philip R. Beuth Class of 1954

    When he was young, Beuth took a paper route in his native Staten Island to help his widowed mother raise him and his brother. He never thought he could afford Union College until he met Frank Bailey, class of 1885.
  • John  Bigelow

    John Bigelow (1817-1911) Class of 1835

    At Union, Bigelow was a serious student who pursued his interest in books and reading by spending long hours in the library.
  • Helena  Binder

    Helena Binder Class of 1976

    Helena Binder has distinguished herself as an actor, director of plays and musicals, and director of opera.
  • Baruch Samuel Blumberg

    Baruch Samuel Blumberg Class of 1946

    Baruch Samuel Blumberg, M.D. is best known for his discovery of the “Australian antigen,” a human antigen that provokes antibody response against hepatitis B.
  • Daniel  Butterfield

    Daniel Butterfield (1831-1901) Class of 1849

    Born on October 31st, 1831, in Utica, New York, Daniel Butterfield attended Utica Academy, and then graduated from Union College.
  • Charles Frederick Chandler

    Charles Frederick Chandler

    Charles F. Chandler came to Union College in 1857, a twenty-three year old Harvard grad with a Ph.D. from Gottingen at age nineteen.
  • Civil  War

    Civil War

    Union alumni and others from the College were key witnesses and makers of history in the Civil War era. Their stories are told in an exhibit, Profound & Poignant: Union College Connections to the Civil War Era.
  • Estelle  Cooke-Sampson

    Estelle Cooke-Sampson Class of 1974

    Physician, humanitarian, officer. Estelle was one of the one hundred women in Union's first coed class.
  • Lee Losee Davenport

    Lee Losee Davenport (1915-2011) Class of 1931

    Dr. Davenport was a physicist best known for his development of anti-aircraft radar that was instrumental in the Allied victory in World War II.
  • Philip G DiSorbo

    Philip G DiSorbo Class of 1971

    DiSorbo became the first employee of Hospice of Schenectady, which was founded at Union College in 1980.
  • Ruth Anne Evans

    Ruth Anne Evans

    Ruth Anne Evans was by all accounts one of the most accomplished librarians and one of the most knowledgeable college historians ever to work at Union College.
  • Armand and Donald Feigenbaum

    Armand and Donald Feigenbaum Class of 1942 & 1946

    In 1968, the brothers founded General Systems Company, an engineering firm that designs and helps implement operational systems for corporations worldwide.
  • Franklin Henry Giddings

    Franklin Henry Giddings Class of 1878

    The life of Frank Henry Giddings exemplified three characteristics that still live at Union.
  • Sue J. Goldie

    Sue J. Goldie Class of 1984

    Goldie's application of Decision Science methods to public health resulted in her being named a MacArthur Fellow in 2005.
  • Gordon  Gould

    Gordon Gould (1920-2005) Class of 1941

    Known best for his invention of the LASER, a term that he coined, and for his thirty-year struggle for patent rights.
  • John  Hartranft

    John Hartranft (1830-1889)

    Civil War hero, governor of Pennsylvania, presidential candidate and key figure in the aftermath of the Lincoln assassination.
  • Robert  Holland

    Robert Holland (1940-) Class of 1962

    Holland attended Union College and was President of his class from 1959-1962.
  • Alan F. Horn

    Alan F. Horn (1943-) Class of 1964

    Alan Horn brought the unforgettable characters of the Harry Potter series from the pages of J. K. Rowling’s novels to the “big screen.”
  • Franklin B. Hough

    Franklin B. Hough (1822-1885) Class of 1843

    Franklin B. Hough is remembered as the “Father of American Forestry.”
  • Edward  Kane

    Edward Kane (1918-2011) Class of 1940

    Kane's degree in chemistry helped ensure his subsequent success, which included becoming president of one of the nation’s largest, science-based products companies: DuPont.
  • Linda  Klein

    Linda Klein (1958-) Class of 1980

    Linda Klein’s successful career as a lawyer reflects her commitment to her clients, fellow bar members, and non-profit organizations.
  • Ilene S. Landress

    Ilene S. Landress (1961-) Class of 1983

    Landress launched a successful career producing movies and TV series, such as HBO’s highly acclaimed The Sopranos.
  • Fitz Hugh Ludlow

    Fitz Hugh Ludlow (1836-1870) Class of 1856

    Fitz Hugh Ludlow, during the short thirty-four years of his life, was known as a poet, critic, fiction and travel writer, and journalist.
  • Lewis Henry Morgan

    Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881) Class of 1840

    After studying at Cayuga Academy, Morgan entered Union College as a junior in 1838 and graduated in 1840.
  • Eliphalet  Nott

    Eliphalet Nott (1773-1866)

    Nott was an entrepreneur, teacher, minister, scholar, inventor, and a powerful influence on American higher education in the 19th century.
  • Robert Porter Patterson

    Robert Porter Patterson Class of 1912

    Patterson was among the most important people responsible for shaping the allied victory in World War II.
  • John Howard Payne

    John Howard Payne (1791-1852) Class of 1810

    John Howard Payne is the author of the lyrics to the song "Home, Sweet Home."
  • Elias  Peissner

    Elias Peissner (1825-1863)

    Elias Peissner‘s political activity as a young student in Bavaria led to his exile from his native country to the United States, where he became the only member of the Union College faculty ever to give his life in military service.
  • Edward Tuckerman Potter

    Edward Tuckerman Potter (1831-1904) Class of 1853

    Potter's work literally stands front and center at Union College: he designed the Nott Memorial, the President's House and the Feigenbaum Administration Building.
  • Joseph  Ramee

    Joseph Ramee (1764-1842)

    It was Ramée who helped make the campus a distinctly new college model for post-Revolutionary America.
  • Andrew Van Vranken Raymond

    Andrew Van Vranken Raymond (1854-1918) Class of 1875

    Many argue that Andrew Van Vranken Raymond saved Union College from extinction.
  • Phil Alden Robinson

    Phil Alden Robinson Class of 1971

    In a sense, Robinson launched his career with the completion of his senior project, a documentary on “The New Deal Coalition”.
  • Richard  Selzer

    Richard Selzer (1928-) Class of 1941

    Selzer, whose writing describes the responsibilities, rewards and challenges of being a surgeon, is a pivotal figure in medical humanities.
  • William Henry Seward

    William Henry Seward (1801-1872) Class of 1820

    Seward graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Union College in 1820, where he impressed classmates with his “remarkable assiduity and capacity of acquirements.”
  • Howard  Simons

    Howard Simons Class of 1951

    Howard Simons, one of the country's leading newspapermen, was Managing Editor of The Washington Post from 1971 to 1984.
  • Charles Proteus Steinmetz

    Charles Proteus Steinmetz (1865-1923)

    True to his philosophy of education, Steinmetz pursued an unusually broad course of studies, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, electricity, physics, and political economy.
  • Nikki  Stone

    Nikki Stone (1971-) Class of 1995

    Stone is a former Olympic aerial skier and graduated from Union College in 1995.
  • Richard  Templeton

    Richard Templeton Class of 1980

    Templeton is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI), a global Fortune 500 company.
  • Allen  Wright

    Allen Wright (1826-1885) Class of 1852

    Wright’s public career began in 1856 when he became a member of the Choctaw Council.
  • Joseph Christopher Yates

    Joseph Christopher Yates (1768-1837)

    Yates was a lawyer, statesman, politician, and founding trustee of Union College.