Editorial: Why do we connect?

As I write this, I am looking forward to having a wonderful time with friends and colleagues at our annual employee Christmas party. Events like this are an important part of forging a community. Even the ancient philosopher Plato advised communities to eat together, going so far as to recommend communal meals be a constitutional requirement for cities.
The connections we make spending time together in ordinary ways build the bonds we rely on in extraordinary times. Think of your true friends. How did you meet? It was probably unremarkable. It may be so ordinary you don’t even remember it exactly—perhaps sitting next to each other in class, playing baseball, or maybe asking for a recipe after potluck. Little moments that formed lifelong bonds.
I am continually amazed at the countless ways my colleagues at Union College intentionally create a community for our students. Studying together, working together, playing together, volunteering together, worshiping together, and, yes, inviting students to their homes to eat together—connecting in unity.
Like the triple-braided cord in Ecclesiastes 4:12, our strength is owed to the diversity of connections we make, and with whom we make them. Constructive connections are at the heart of a Union College experience, and this issue of CORDmagazine is all about connections made at Union, with Union, or because of Union. You’ll read specific examples of how we are building connectedness, such as: 
  • Providing hands-on assistance to those in need
  • Traveling abroad to gain new 
  • perspectives
  • Studying students’ own genes to understand the human genome
  • Interacting with alumni to learn from your experiences
The process of building connections between ideas and each other doesn’t stop at graduation. I am continually inspired and re-created by the connections I make and renew each day. I am grateful for the ways this school—and the lasting friendships I’ve made here over the last thirty years—contributed much to who I am.
I am equally impressed by the many ways Union alumni show loyalty to each other and their school long after leaving campus. My wife recently traveled to the west coast and met with several Union alumni. She immediately felt connected to these friends whom she had never met—enriched by the rapport of those who shared a common experience—a highly valued experience—the Union experience.
I truly believe Union College provides the environment, lessons and support our students need to create the syllogism they are meant to become. Please pray that Union College will continue to be a place where young adults grow and thrive and change the world, one little corner at a time.