Year in review: Top stories of 2017

Publication Date

A story memorializing the death of Alexander Askenazy ‘20 was the most viewed article on the College’s news site in 2017.

The 19-year-old passed away in his residence hall in early October from an existing medical condition.

A biochemistry major from Albuquerque, N.M., Alex was an avid hockey fan and played goalie for Union's club hockey team. He was also president of the fencing club.

The story generated more than 12,000 unique page views, well ahead of the second most popular article, the March 2 announcement of a new Integrated Science and Engineering Complex. The $100 million project is the most ambitious and largest in the school’s history.

The announcement Aug. 29 that President Stephen C. Ainlay will step down as president at the end of the academic year was the third most clicked-on article, followed by an expansive look at the Class of 2017. A February piece about a record number of applications from students seeking to join the Union community rounded out the top five best read stories.

On social media, the most popular post on Facebook was a statement from President Ainlay in response to President Trump's executive order temporarily banning citizens of seven majority Muslim nations from entry in to the U.S.

On Twitter, the announcement of Shayne Gostisbehere '15 as the Philadelphia Pro Athlete of the Year was the most retweeted.

On Instagram, a ReUnion fireworks #NottShot by Jay Cohen '87 garnered the most likes of any photo this year.

Union’s award-winning news site garnered nearly 196,000 unique views during the year, making it one of the College’s most popular websites.

Stories that originated on the site are frequently featured in national, international and local media outlets. Among the prominent outlets that have highlighted the College in recent years are The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, University Business, New York Times, Washington Post, New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, National Public Radio, Sports illustrated, U.S. News and World Report College Guide, U.S. News and World Report, and the Associated Press.

Content on the site has been honored by the Council for the Advancement of Secondary Education (CASE).

The 10 most-viewed stories of 2017:

1. Union community gathers to remember Alexander Askenazy ‘20

2. Union to launch $100 million project that will transform Science and Engineering complex

3. President Stephen C. Ainlay to step down after current academic year at Union

4. Meet the Class of 2017

5. Applications to Union hit a new high

6. Students inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

7. Prize Day Winners 2017

8. Love at heart of message for Class of 2017

9. Four honored with Fulbright teaching assistants

10. Union names new dean of academics and programs