125th Anniversary Gallery Event "Rensselaer Union Records: Snapshots from the Archives"

Start time

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 4:30pm to 6:30pm


Rensselaer Student Union, Shelnutt Gallery (RU 3606)


Attend this special event in honor of the 125th Anniversary of the Rensselaer Union. Meet Institute Archivists, as well as the show designer, Catherine Litvaitis. Club performances, food, and music in honor of the 125th Anniversary.


Press Release

EXHIBIT OPEN: August 26th, 2015 – December 18th, 2015

In celebration of the Rensselaer Union’s 125th Anniversary, the Shelnutt Gallery is featuring a display of photographs and documents belonging to clubs formed under the Rensselaer Union and submitted to the Folsom Library Institute Archives. The clubs featured can be found in the 1976 edition of the club handbook. With the assistance of the Institute Archives, the Rensselaer Union was able to collect documents from a wide range of time periods, ranging from 1910 to 2010. The exhibit displays an evolution of student life at Rensselaer, showing some differences and many similarities to what life is like today.

Since RPI Union was founded in 1890 it has been the center of student life at Rensselaer. In the first constitution printed in the Poly on November 29th, 1890, it was stated that RPI Union was designed to bring “athletics into the first college ranks and our ­various clubs into a prominence second to none.” RPI Union merged with another student organization, the Rensselaer Student Association, in 1908 and changed their name to Rensselaer Union, which still oversees clubs, campus programs, recreation, and supports varsity athletics. 

The Institute Archives exist “to appraise, collect, organize, describe, preserve, and make available Institute records of historical value and special collections materials documenting nineteenth and twentieth century science and technology as defined in the department’s collection development policy.” They are responsible for the preservation of major events and organizations of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s past, present, and future. They are in possession of physical remnants of Rensselaer history, including photographs, documents, and artifacts. Many Rensselaer Union clubs who have contributed items to the Institute Archives are featured in this special gallery show in honor of the 125th Anniversary of Rensselaer Union.

“Rensselaer Union Records: Snapshots from the Archives” was designed and arranged by Catherine Litvaitis. Ms. Litvaitis is in her third year at Rensselaer, where she is dual majoring in Games & Simulation Arts and Sciences and Electronic Arts.

For more information about the Institute archives, contact lib-archives@rpi.edu or visit archives.rpi.edu.

This photography exhibition continues through the fall 2015 semester. Call the office for gallery hours, (518) 276-6505. The Shelnutt Gallery is located in the Rensselaer Student Union, on the corner of 15th St. & Sage Ave., in Troy, NY.