I was happy to welcome my good friends, retiring President Stephen and wife Judith Ainlay of Union College to our reformed Jewish synagogue, Gates of Heaven. The format involved a Friday night service, soup Shabbat and discussion on diversity, led by President Ainlay and local “clergy against hate.”
The comments were lively and interesting and I, too, had thoughts of how Union has handled diversity through the years.
Unfortunately, I neglected to voice them. But now, as a 96-year-old 1943 alumnus of Union and chair of our 75th reunion in May, I offer that when the college had an 8 percent Jewish quota, and a couple “token blacks” were admitted. Now the numbers show 25 percent Jewish and 22 percent African-American.
In addition, Union College now enrolls large numbers of foreign students and, conversely, sends many men and women to terms overseas.
Plus, it offers “Minerva” scholarships for work/study programs to countries in South and Central America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia. That’s diversity.