By Abigail Hollander
Look around you. Union has some of the most impressive scholars, tremendous athletes and talented artists in the country. Among these aspiring engineers, future leaders and bookworms lies the Garnet Society. This large group of students is closely associated with the Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement to facilitate interactions between Union’s community, past and present.
Recently, the group has agreed upon a partnership with the Alumni Speaker Series, and is eager to keep alumni involved with several diverse aspects of the Union experience. Co-President of the Garnet Society Adam Stolz ’15 noted, “The primary mission of the Garnet Society is to bridge the gap between students and alumni through the proactive organization of student-run and student-staffed events.”
The Garnet Society is involved with several large events on campus, including Homecoming and ReUnion Weekends. After a very successful inaugural year last year, the group is excited to host its second annual Founder’s Week events in honor of the college’s 220th birthday.
Although you frequently see the group sporting nametags and guiding alumni, they play a crucial role as the primary network between alumni and their alma mater. Students involved with the Garnet Society dine with alumni, cheer for the Dutchmen on the ice and on the field and discuss their collegiate experiences and aspirations. Not only is the society a great way to get involved on campus, but group members also benefit from key networking experiences. Stolz continued, “My favorite event is ReUnion Weekend … everything from assisting with golf cart transportation and working the President’s Welcome Reception, where I converse with the Trustees and members of the Garnet Guard, is very rewarding.”
Co-President of the Garnet Society Lauren Woods ’16 became involved with the group during her first year at Union. “I first learned of TGS my freshman year when a teammate of mine suggested that I apply. I was accepted, and have been an extremely involved member ever since,” Woods stated.
As a budding group, both Stolz and Woods agree that the Garnet Society has the potential to become “one of Union’s most proactive organizations.” In order to maintain this precedent of efficiency, leadership and involvement, the organization needs the student body’s involvement.
Founder’s Week is Feb. 23-27. From a late-night breakfast in Upper Class Dining Hall to a Rathskellar mac-n-cheese eating contest, the group is eager to present the college community with fun and exciting ways to develop a self-aware, spirited and involved campus community. Be sure to attend this year’s Founder’s Day celebration at 1 p.m. in Memorial Chapel on Thursday, Feb. 26, to hear President of Pitzer College Laura Trombley discuss “The Enduring Value of Humanities.”
To become involved in the Garnet Society, take action. Seek out the person behind a menacing nametag. Ask questions. The organization is one of the only groups on campus with an application and interview process, but with roughly a 75-100 percent acceptance rate of recent recruitment classes and immediate leadership opportunities available upon acceptance, the group is looking for committed, eager and spirited students to facilitate communications with Union’s noteworthy alumni community. As Woods noted, “We want to best represent the Union community through campus involvement and experience.”
For further information regarding the Garnet Society, please contact Vice-President of Recruitment Margaret Girton, at [email protected], and Co-Presidents Adam Stolz and Lauren Woods, at [email protected] and [email protected], respectively.