Office of the President

Introducing our new nickname!

Publication Date
Profile image of President David Harris

Dear Union College Community:

I hope this message finds you enjoying a restorative summer as we all prepare for an exciting new academic year starting in September. Today, I am thrilled to announce that after careful consideration and an extensive process, we have chosen a new nickname for Union College.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you the Garnet Chargers!

Bolt U followed by text Union Garnet Chargers

In May, we unveiled four finalists for our new moniker: Garnet Chargers, Garnet Hawks, Garnet Griffins and Garnet Storm. After much deliberation and with invaluable input from our community, Garnet Chargers emerged as the clear choice to represent our College’s spirit and history.

We received an overwhelming response during the selection process, with more than 1,100 individuals offering their suggestions and comments. The depth of engagement was a heartening reminder of the immense pride that exists within our Union community.

Among the more than 400 unique name suggestions, Garnet Chargers ultimately stood out as an apt embodiment of the strength, energy and passion that characterize Union. Those qualities shine through in the video below.

I recognize that change can be challenging, and in this case especially so for many of our passionate alumni who have embraced being a Dutchman or Dutchwoman. We sincerely appreciate all those who shared their views on this decision.

One of our guiding principles in this work was the knowledge that to move away from the status quo, we needed alternatives that enabled us to embrace our tradition and history, and better engage our community, now and in the future. We are confident that Garnet Chargers, which references our official school color of more than 150 years while capturing the sense of energy and forward momentum our community embodies, accomplishes that goal.

As much time and diligence as we have put into arriving at today’s announcement, our work is not yet done. We have an exciting announcement coming this fall, when we will reveal our official Garnet Chargers mascot to provide another symbol of our collective pride, resilience, and shared identity.

Initial Garnet Chargers merchandise is available now on the Union Athletics online retail site and will soon be available in our bookstore. We also will be promoting the new name on campus and throughout our extended community in the coming weeks and months. Our nickname website contains much more information on our work to become the Garnet Chargers.

Once again, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who contributed your ideas, thoughts, and support during this important process. Your dedication to Union College has been invaluable, and together we will continue to build a vibrant and united community that uplifts every member.

Best Regards,


David Harris
Union College

Feigenbaum Hall

Office of the President

Feigenbaum Hall Administration
807 Union St.
Schenectady, NY 12308

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