Union Springs Academy, in Union Springs, New York, is celebrating 100 years of ministry, dedication, and service in 2021. From its humble beginnings back in 1921, where it was purchased for $4,000 (from a Quaker school named Oakwood Seminary), it has grown, changed, and been led by divine guidance and inspiration to become the school that still stands “near the shores of Lake Cayuga.” The original property included 13 buildings and a 429-acre farm. The first students started school on September 14, 1921, in the original brick building, Cooledge Hall, with 13 faculty members and 96 students. Amazingly, these students did everything in this one building—from the time they started their day until the time they went to bed at night.
Over the years, the school has grown and changed, also expanding its physical presence to include two separate dormitories—the girl’s dorm, Sunset Hall (1949) and the boy’s dorm, Capman Hall (1957). Additionally, a gymnasium was built in the early 1960s, where students could participate in indoor recreation during the winter, which also provided a location for church services. Then in 1968, the administration portion was added to the gymnasium (subsequently named Newmyer Hall). An industrial arts building was constructed to provide shop classes for hands-on learning. In the early 1980s, a beautiful new church building was created, which allowed for enhanced religious activities and services for the students and community members.
Enrollment numbers have varied greatly over the years, impacted immensely by the economy, state of our country (many years during war-time conditions or the current pandemic), and level of support by conference leaders and churches.
Union Springs is the oldest full boarding academy still in operation in the Northeast. This is very much due to supportive church leaders, dedicated loyal alumni, generous donors, churches, and church members who have made the continuance of this school a priority. Most importantly, the prayers of our church members, parents, alumni, and so many others have had an eternal impact on our students by continually asking for the Holy Spirit to be present and guide the decisions made in the operation and future of this school.
At Union Springs Academy, there is a family feeling of closeness among the students. In addition to academic and physical needs, spiritual needs are a high priority. Their goal is to bring the students closer to our Savior and Creator, Jesus Christ, and guide them into a personal relationship with Him.
Throughout the history of the academy, students have had unique, life-changing experiences. The dedication to our youth and mission of our school continues to be carried forward 100 years later. As we celebrate 100 years, we would like to invite all alumni and former faculty and staff to celebrate God’s goodness and leading at our Centennial Celebration/Alumni Weekend, September 17-19.
We have an amazing weekend planned to include our Sabbath church service speaker, Ted Wilson, Seventh-day Adventist World Church president. Honored guest speakers also include: Bill Knott, Adventist Review executive editor; Gary Blanchard, General Conference Youth Ministries director; John Thomas, General Conference retired associate secretary; and Robert Burnette (’72), Oklahoma Conference assistant to the president. A Saturday-night Centennial Tribute Banquet and Variety Show are planned in celebration of this significant milestone. Join us in taking this opportunity to recognize our rich history and thank God for His leading!
Visit our website for details and updates at unionspringsacademy.org.
—Patty Dunham, alumni communication director, Union Springs Academy
• Encyclopedia.Adventist.org (https://tinyurl.com/urkfu5yv)
• Union Springs Academy Memoria yearbooks