In the coming Saturday, the 24th annual John Calvin Toll Day will be held for all Union students to come together and volunteer for various parts of the Schenectady community. With the event being the largest single-day of volunteering in the Union calendar, it is expected that many students will be traveling around the area in order to support a wide variety of causes. Some of these options include the harvesting and weeding of Patroon Land Farm, sorting food donations at a regional food bank and street cleaning near to campus and Ellis Hospital. No matter what type of volunteer work you are interested in, it is likely that there will be something that you will enjoy.
In the past year, President Harris continuously stressing the need for the Union community to get involved with the outer Schenectady region, this event has been heralded as something to deepen the ties between Union and our surrounding areas. As stated on the Union website, the college has been named to the “President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll five times,” illustrating the college’s focus on enhancing the local community.
The event began in 1996, with former President Roger Hull mandating that first year orientation should involve a volunteer experience. In 2001, the event was expanded to the rest of the campus, and was named the John Calvin Toll Day thanks to a donation from Al Hill ’46 and his wife Perrie. Hill was the great-great grandson of the namesake John Calvin Toll, who was a member of the first graduating class of Union in 1799.
Union’s Ralph and Marjorie Kenney Center, located on the corner of Park Place and Nott Street, has been organizing the event, with the Associate Director of Community Outreach, Janet Sweeney providing information to students on how to sign up for programs and what to do in the run up to the event.