The Union College I Remember, 1902-1946

The Union College I Remember, 1902-1946

The Union College I Remember, 1902-1946

The Union College I Remember, 1902-1946


I must have known about Union College before I was old enough to understand what a college was. The pictures in father's den may have helped, since one of them showed a small military company drawn up on the front campus with the partly built library walls as a background; and another picture was of funny little figures exercising on old-fashioned gymnasium equipment. Each figure had a large head, photographed and attached to a cartoon body, and I later learned these were faculty members. And finally, there was a group photograph of young men in old-fashioned clothing. This was father's fraternity picture and I knew the names of the men even before I knew what a fraternity was, for father spoke often of them, as well as of the professors with the cartoon bodies cavorting on trapezes, parallel bars, and the like.

My father, William A. Waldron, was graduated from Union in the class of 1879; and his father, the Reverend Charles Newman Waldron, for whom I was named, was graduated in 1846--as it turned out, just an even century before I closed my work at the College.

There were songs, too, in my childhood, such as:

Down to Wiencke's we will go,
Let the lager freely flow,
Then go reeling to and fro
Back to Alma Mater .

This song bothered me, for there was a verse which set forth that Union was "all played out" and the singer urged her to "go up the spout." Even though it was followed by a verse denying this view and affirming the singer's love for Union and glorifying her achievements, the verse still rankled; and I thought it should not have been written.

We lived in Detroit; and by the time I reached high school, I was uncomfortable to learn that my dad's college was unknown to my companions. Perhaps that fact, coupled with my earlier objection to the words of the song, led me into a partisanship which the military would call offensive defense.

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