Year in review: Garnet Chargers tops most read stories of 2023

Publication Date

The new nickname and mascot for the College dominated the list of the most popular stories on Union’s news site and social media posts in 2023.

: Images featuring a basketball athlete, tennis player, and volleyball competitor.

The most widely-read story highlighted the College's decision to investigate a new nickname and mascot.

The most-read news item on the site was a February piece announcing the College would explore choosing a new nickname and mascot for the College. This came after months of preliminary discussion with students, faculty, staff and alumni.

That item was followed closely by an August story announcing that Garnet Chargers rose to the top of a field of 400+ unique nicknames offered by the Union community. A November story in which President David Harris introduced Charger, a garnet-colored costumed dog and a live red fox Labrador retriever to a crowd of several hundred gathered in front of Schaffer Library was the eighth most clicked on story of the year.

An October story marking the 50th anniversary of the theatrical release of “The Way We Were” was the third most popular story. A number of iconic scenes were shot on campus and the surrounding area in the fall of 1972, giving students and others an opportunity to get up close and personal with Hollywood royalty, Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford.

A January piece on the record number of applications to join the Class of 2027 and an op-ed in June by President Harris, “Why affirmative action matters in college admissions,” in advance of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on whether colleges and universities can use race as a factor in admissions decisions, rounded out the top five best read stories. The op-ed was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.

The rest of the top 10 included an obituary on Hilary Tann, a longtime music professor and composer who died in February; the connection between Union and former president Jimmy Carter as he entered home hospice care in February; profiles of the six valedictorians for the Class of 2023 in June; and a welcome in September of the faculty who joined the College for the new academic year.

Screenshot of the Facebook photo gallery showcasing the unveiling of the new mascot.

Screenshot of the Facebook photo gallery showcasing the unveiling of the new mascot.

On Union's official social media accounts, the video announcing the Union College Garnet Chargers was the most engaged on Instagram. On TikTok, a video featuring community advisors and what to pack for life in the residence halls (a la Taylor Swift) garnered the greatest attention, while on Facebook, a photo gallery on the reveal of the College's mascot Charger was the most engaged for the year. On Twitter, the Garnet Chargers announcement was also tops.

Union’s award-winning news site garnered nearly 239,000 page views during the year, making it one of the College’s most popular sites.

Stories that originate on Union’s news site are frequently featured in national, international and local media outlets.

In 2023, faculty, students and staff were mentioned in major media outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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