The original Rensselaer Union constitution was passed in November 1890 in order to unite students in a commitment to the ideals for which Rensselaer stands, expand extracurricular life, coordinate student organizations, support athletics, and act as a medium through which student opinion may be expressed. The current Union constitution still reflects the values expressed by students 125 years ago.

On November 14, the students of Rensselaer gathered to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Rensselaer Union in style.

The student gala event featured food, dancing, casino games, prizes, and giveaways for those in attendance. Over 500 tickets were reserved for the event and “the excitement of celebrating student leadership was palpable,” said Joe Cassidy, director of the Union.

At 8:30 p.m. the gala highlight was a light show celebrating Rensselaer Union history, viewable from the Union horseshoe. The Rensselaer Student Union welcome lobby entry and adjoining rooms were lit with photos and colorful lights set to familiar Rensselaer tunes, including the alma mater and fight song. The event was created and led by Kevin Kortright, a junior in the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences program.

“I’m really glad the event went so smoothly,” said Whitney Gervais, a senior in business management, who coordinated the event. “The 125th Anniversary Committee worked hard and surveyed the students to make sure the event would be what students at RPI wanted it to be. It was a great collaboration and a nice way to celebrate students at Rensselaer.”

The Rensselaer Union has been celebrating its 125th anniversary since April 2015 with Grand Marshal Week serving to kick off events and festivities. In October, alumni were invited back to celebrate during Reunion & Homecoming. Additional events are being planned in the spring semester, with celebrations officially ending during Grand Marshal Week 2016.

View more photos of the gala and other 125th Anniversary celebrations from this year.