In his inaugural address, President David R. Harris challenged the campus community to learn to “become more comfortable being uncomfortable.” He asked what they could pursue in their studies, work or personal life that would push them in a healthy and responsible way.
“Our name refers to the coming together of people from several faiths to form this college,” he reminded the audience. “The founders did not stay in their cultural comfort zones, as did the founders of most other colleges at the time. Through experience they discovered what it meant to be a leading college without a denominational affiliation.”
Kicking off the Union College Challenge, Harris committed to add a center-right podcast each week to his regular list of preferred podcasts from outlets such as NPR, the New York Times or the Washington Post, and to post his reflections online. This has helped push him to better understand how others see the world, and sharpen and perhaps change, some of his perspectives. In addition to an intellectual challenge, he added a physical one, as well: Harris committed to taking at least three yoga classes a month.
Since Harris’s September address, “What’s your Union College Challenge?” has become a popular catchphrase (and hashtag) across campus for students, faculty, staff, alumni and even parents.
The Daily Gazette recently featured the challenge.