When Ene Beattie Gaines ’89 saw Maranatha’s call for volunteers to renovate rooms in Rees Hall, she immediately flashed back to her own four years in Union’s residence hall.
“My roommate Shannon [Stegmaier Oien] and I were best friends since we were young,” Gaines remembered. “We roomed together at Campion and then all four years at Union.”
For the final three of those years at Union, the two inhabited room 269. When she discovered Union is raising money to host Maranatha to do another series of rooms in 2020, she wanted to help out.
“Since the rooms haven’t really changed since we were there, I thought it would be fun to help renovate one with Shannon,” said the 1989 institutional development graduate.
Even though they live 1000 miles apart, the two former roommates remain close friends and see each other at least once per year. “I called her and asked if she wanted to split a room and it was done,” said Gaines.
The two shared the $5,000 cost of renovating one Rees Hall room this summer—an amount they were able to pay in installments over several months.
Gaines and Oien were excited to learn their gifts will be used to renovate good old 269 and Gaines hopes to encourage other Union College roommates to sponsor renovating one of nearly 30 Rees rooms in 2020. “There are so many people who could split the cost of a room with a roommate,” she said. “It’s a great way to make a difference in the lives of Union students.”
How you can help
Maranatha will return to campus in May to help us renovate more rooms in Rees Hall and there are two ways you can help Union students have an even better learning and living experience.
Fund a room (or two or three)! We need to raise $5,000 to renovate each room and $1,000 to furnish them with new task chairs and beds, so every gift matters. Learn more about how you can help at
Volunteer! Maranatha needs volunteers of all skill levels May 10-31, 2020. Learn more and register at ucollege.edu/maranatha2020