The Union panther tamer

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The Union College panther tamer

Doing a little spring cleaning, I came across some old newspaper clippings and black and white photos that stirred fond memories of my time at Union.

In the fall of 1950, Homecoming was held in early November and Middlebury was the opponent for the weekend’s football game. Homecoming activities included a competition between fraternities as to which house could construct the best outdoor display capturing the rivalry between Union and Middlebury.

Kappa Sigma had recently acquired the property at 1017 Avon Road, just across from campus. We came up with the idea that our display would show the Union Dutchman as a panther tamer who had the Middlebury panther under control.

We took out a classified ad in the Schenectady Union Star, citing our need for a panther. This was followed by a news article about our search, but thankfully no one offered a living one and we ended up with a donated stuffed mountain lion. It was dyed black with shoe polish for the occasion.

Kappa Sigma didn’t win the display contest, and Middlebury won the football game, but it still makes me smile to think of that panther tamer.


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