Union’s last motor coach died long before Al Gore invented the Internet, before most college students were born—about the time Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon. Since 1970, Union has relied primarily on the bus and driving skills of 1965 graduate Jerome Lang, along with a host of vans and rental vehicles to transport students around the country.
But that all changed today when Union unveiled the school’s first bus in 45 years—a 1999 MCI 102EL3 56-passenger motor coach. Most of the funds needed to purchase the bus and get it ready for use have been given by alumni and friends since the project was announced last November.
“This bus will be a tremendous asset for our school,” said Vinita Sauder, president of Union College. “Our student groups can be proud to travel in a bus that represents the spirit of Union.”
According to Salli Jenks, director of transportation, the bus will save the college significant dollars over renting vans and buses from charter companies. “The ability to transport student groups in one vehicle instead of many vans also means our students travel more safely,” she said. “And riding together in one vehicle helps create camaraderie, team building and school spirit.”
Many campus groups, including academic groups, the Unionaires, the concert band, Gymnaires gymnastic team and varsity sports teams need to move large numbers of students around the Midwest and, at times, across the country. From 1965 to 2011, Jerome Lang drove approximately 500,000 miles transporting Union College and College View Academy groups. He provided his own bus, at first at a greatly reduced rate, and later at no charge.
Since then, Union has used charter companies and rented from local church member Steve Ladig, who provided his bus to the college at a greatly reduced rate.
“With the growing transportation needs and the desire to have a bus represent Union’s brand, it became clear we needed to purchase our own,” said Sauder. “We are incredibly blessed by the many donors who gave to make this possible.”
You can be a part of this exciting project. The college needs additional funding to set up a maintenance fund to keep the bus on the road and in good condition. If you would like to help, please consider giving a gift by clicking here: rockpile.ucollege.edu
Under designations, select “other” and enter “transportation fund” into the field.
By Ryan Teller, director of public relations