KRIS KIRCHNER '77 - OLYMPIC BANNER UNVEILING - January 21, 2023
On Saturday January 21, 2023, Union Catholic posthumously honored Kristin Kirchner '77 with the unveiling of an Olympic banner commemorating her selection to the 1980 USA Women's Olympic Basketball Team.
Kris was the first 1,000 point scorer in UC Girls Basketball history, and went on to become a Kodak All-American, Street & Smith All-American, AP All-American, and 1979 Women's Basketball World Champion; just a few of her many awards and accolades.
Kris passed away in 2018, but her sister Kendra, brother Keith, nephew Alex, and sister and brother-in-law Kim & John were all in attendance. Many of Kris’ former teammates, classmates, and other alumnae of the UC Girls Basketball program were also there to honor Kris.
The ceremony took place at halftime of the UC Girls basketball game versus Scotch Plains-Fanwood. The emcee was Nancy Foulks ’76, UC Alumni Director; also a teammate and friend of Kris. Retired UC Girls Basketball Coach Kathy Matthews provided insight about Kris’s athletic accomplishments. Pam Holmes Kirkland ’80 reflected on Kris as a teammate, and Kendra Kirchner King spoke on behalf of the Kirchner family.
Kris’ family all participated in the physical unveiling of the banner, as did Principal Sister Percylee Hart and Athletic Director Dave Luciano. The banner hangs to the left of the main scoreboard, near the two Olympic banners honoring Sydney McLaughlin ’17.
Kris’ actual senior year basketball jersey is part of the UC archives. Replica t-shirts were worn that day by every member of the UC Girls Varsity and JV basketball teams and coaching staff, Kris’ family, and all who spoke during the ceremony.
No doubt Kris was there in spirit, as UC Girls delivered a win in overtime; an exciting day all around!
To watch the banner unveiling, click the link to UC Livestream for the UC girls’ basketball game; the banner ceremony took place at half time.
To watch a video with images of Kris playing basketball, some statistics, news articles, and quotes from classmates, click this link or scan the QR code. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JMoK6z07UcWzo8xc4TAIygvMqprLnbFm/view?usp=sharing
ALUMNI CHRISTMAS BREAKFAST & MASS - December 21, 2022
LEGACY BREAKFAST - October 26, 2022
“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”
That is why the annual Legacy Breakfast is so important to UC – a school of faith with an emphasis on character. That legacy brings an extra level of connectedness in a school already brimming with a sense of belonging. The breakfast is an opportunity for current students whose parents/guardians are UC graduates, to come together to share UC memories and to make some new ones. This school year, there are 49 legacy students representing 45 families. Within those numbers, we have five families where both parents are UC graduates. Further, we have 2 third generation UC legacy families. It is fitting that the breakfast takes place in the UC Library, which is located in the “Tradition Meets Tomorrow” hallway.
BETTE SCHNITZER CELEBRATION OF LIFE - October 23, 2022
On Sunday, October 23, UC legend Bette Schnitzer was memorialized by her family, her friends and her beloved UC community. If you did not personally know “S,” here’s a little background:
In more than 60 years of Union Catholic history, there are but a handful of people who can be considered UC legends. Mrs. Bette Schnitzer is unquestionably one of those. Her legendary persona developed much as her name and her hairstyles evolved over time. She arrived at Union Catholic as Mrs. Elizabeth Schnitzer, but became better known as Mrs. Bette Schnitzer. A decade or so later, she was lovingly referred to by the students as “Mrs. S.” By the time she retired in June of 1998, she had achieved rock-star status and was identified by just a single letter – “S”.
The name progression was representative of her ability to move with the times and to adapt to changes. “S” was the first lay teacher hired by Union Catholic Girls High School. She accepted a position as Physical Education teacher in a school building that did not yet have a gymnasium. The first physical education classes were held in Room 110, where the girls learned dances like the polka and the tarantella. The outdoor exercise regime consisted of running up and down the piles of construction dirt. “S” managed to borrow equipment from local schools so that the girls could learn gymnastics. To quote an article in the June 1966 edition of the girls’ school newspaper, The Spirit, “obstacles were the elements upon which she thrived.”
As the school grew, so too did the athletic offerings and the athletic successes. While her myriad of professional accomplishments are laudable, “S” is best remembered for her engaging personality and her love of the students. She was always their biggest cheerleader. In the course of her illustrious 35 year career, she attended incalculable UC games, both home and away. You knew when “S” was in the stands, as she energetically sounded words of encouragement. She found you afterwards to pat you on the back for a win, or to lift your spirits following a loss. In a personal chat with “S” she shared that “If you got through to one kid it was worth it; you had made a difference. “
The Celebration of Life was attended by more than 100 people, including guests who travelled from all corners of the USA – California, New Hampshire, South Carolina – to pay tribute to “S.” Her children - Kris, Ray, Beth, Steven, Jaimie - all shared remembrances, as did her grandchildren Justin and Lexi. UC colleagues – Jim Goddard, Myrna McManus, Jim Reagan, Sr., Kathy Matthews, and Joan O’Donnell - helped everyone “take a stroll down memory lane,” and Fanwood Mayor Colleen Yewasis Mahr ’84, read a proclamation about Bette. The room was filled with over-sized photos from various decades, awards Bette had received, memory boards filled with heart-warming moments, and fun videos. Combined with much impromptu storytelling, it all made for a true celebration of a loving, giving, kind spirit who touched the lives of thousands of UC students.
Bette’s family has established a UC scholarship in her memory. You may contribute through the link https://www.unioncatholic.org/apps/pages/supportuc , by sending a check payable to Union Catholic High School (subject line > IMO B. Schnitzer) to: Development Office -1600 Martine Ave - Scotch Plains, NJ 07076, or through the QR code below.
CLASS OF 1972 - 50th GRADUATION ANNIVERSARY - May 25, 2022
Members of UC Class of 1972 celebrated their 50th Graduation Anniversary by taking part in the 57th Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2022. Alumni of ’72 processed in behind the 50th gonfalon wearing gold stoles to commemorate their golden anniversary. They had a group photo taken in the Senior Courtyard, were congratulated during the graduation, were delighted with building tours conducted by Student Ambassadors, and completed their UC day with a luncheon in the library where all shared heartfelt memories of their time at UC.
Commencement and Luncheon Photos Follow Here
LEGACY BREAKFAST - May 13, 2022
The annual Union Catholic Legacy Breakfast was held in the UC library on Friday May 13, 2022. Each year we celebrate our Legacy families, those parents who are UC alumni and have a current student enrolled at their alma mater. For the 2021-2022 school year, UC boasts of 47 legacy families, totaling 53 current legacy students. Five current students can brag that both of their parents are UC graduates. In addition, we have two sophomores who are THIRD generation UC students. The annual Legacy Breakfast is a way to both honor and thank these cornerstones of the UC community, because there is no greater tribute to Union Catholic than when an alumna or alumnus chooses to send their child to their alma mater. These families exemplify the message in this quote from Billy Graham, “The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”
UC ALUMNI SIBLINGS - April 10, 2022
UC LOVE STORIES - Edition #2 - February 14, 2022
Happy Valentine's Day! As promised, today we bring you UC Love Story Edition #2. Click the link below to enjoy the stories of UC alumni who fell in love and married - or have recently gotten engaged! If you and your spouse are UC graduates, we want to share your UC Love Story, too. Just send your photo (wedding, current or both) and 2-3 sentences about how you met and fell in love, to [email protected] and we will include you Edition #3.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH:
UC LOVE STORIES - Edition #1 - 2021
People love UC, and some couples actually fall in love at Union Catholic. For Valentine’s Day, 2021 we created the first edition of the UC Love Story. We reached out to couples where both are UC alumni. We requested a recent photo and 2-3 sentences telling of their UC romance. The resulting video - UC LOVE STORIES Edition #1 - was posted on Valentine's Day 2021.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VmQIquAR8_TfFFfUWPIS_SgTa8vOEchL/view?usp=sharing
Legacy Breakfast - November 8, 2020
The annual UC Legacy Breakfast, hosted by the Alumni Office, was celebrated on Sunday November 8, 2020. The Legacy Breakfast honors UC alumni and their son/daughter currently enrolled at UC. For the 2020-2021 school year, Union Catholic boasts of 45 Legacy families, representing 51 UC students. Four of those families can claim both parents as UC alumni. This year we also have three third generation families!
Traditionally held in the school library, this year the event was hosted via Zoom. Prior to the event, each family received a Legacy Brunch Box filled with breakfast snacks and drinks to enjoy during the call. Additionally, each family received a card containing a conversation-prompting question. The parent and student introduced themselves and then each answered their unique UC question. There was much conversation around the favorite food in the cafeteria, various school trips, and favorite UC events. All four members of the UC Administration participated in the Legacy Brunch Zoom session - Sister Percylee Hart, RSM, Principal; Dr. Karen Piasecki ’88, Associate Principal; Mrs. Noreen Korner Andrews, Assistant Principal; Dr. James Reagan ’96, Assistant Principal - to offer their thanks and appreciation for our UC Legacy families.
Alumni College Panels - May 18 & June 1, 2020
Each school year, recent UC graduates return to their alma mater to participate in Alumni College Panels. Separate sessions are held for the Junior and Senior classes. The Junior class discussion focuses on topics such as college selection process, application timing and majors. The Senior class session covers acclimation to campus life, time management, building relationships with academic advisors, and more.
This year, the sessions took place as scheduled - Seniors on May 18 and Juniors on June 1 - all via Zoom. Thank you to the many alumni who volunteered their time and shared their insights and guidance.
Congratulations UC Class of 2020
Here is the video of the virtual graduation ceremony. #UCPride
Campus Coffee at Monmouth University - February 7, 2020
On February 7, 2020, UC Alumni enrolled at Monmouth University were invited to Campus Coffee with members of the UC Administration and staff. Students enjoyed DD coffee/donuts, reconnecting with each other, and those visiting from UC. They each left with a "treat bag." It was a fun time! Perhaps the Campus Coffee tour will be headed to your university soon...
Cabaret Night - January 10, 2020
On January 10, 2020 the 5th Annual Cabaret Night was held in the UC auditorium. The 90-minute show featured performances by legends of the UC stage, past and present. Tickets were also available to a reception immediately following the show, thus providing a chance for performers, presenters and more than 100 alumni to reconnect while enjoying beer, wine, soft drinks, hors d’oeuvres, coffee and dessert. Net proceeds from Cabaret Night support the UCPAC theater renovation project.
College Alumni Panel for Seniors - January 10, 2020
On January 10, 2020 the annual College Panel for Seniors was held in the auditorium, as part of College Awareness Day at UC. All faculty and staff have signs posted by their doors indicating which universities they have attended and/or have first-hand knowledge. Students are encouraged to stop in to ask questions. Faculty, staff and students are also encouraged to wear logo gear from their college. The main event is a discussion panel comprised of recent UC graduates who share their experiences about choosing a college and getting acclimated to college life. Thanks to the following alumni for sharing their time:
- Thomas Jaworski ‘19 - Monmouth University - Graphic Design
- James McElroy ‘19 - The College of New Jersey - Political Science
- Katie Sheldon ‘15 - St John's University - Pharm D
- Clayton Lee ‘18 - Cornell University - Business/Hotel Administration
- Cameren Dawkins ‘19, - Marymount University - Information Technology
- Rose Petrick ‘17 - York College - Nursing/Education
- Paul Armento ’17 - NJIT - Business Technology
Sister Percylee's Annual Christmas Message - December 11, 2019
On December 11, 2019, the UC Choir sang, members of the Peer Ministry group offered prayers and petitions, and Sister Percylee shared her message for a joyous and holy Christmas. If you missed the live broadcast, it is archived here:
Tree of Lights & Christmas Concert - December 5, 2019
On December 5, 2019 the Main Lobby of UC was filled with members of the UC community for the annual Tree of Lights Ceremony. This is a reverent ceremony to remember loved ones lost this year, and in years past. Attendees pre-purchased paper doves designed by UC art students, bearing the names of passed friends and family members. Those names were read aloud during the ceremony, and families were then invited to take their doves home to place on their family trees. Following the ceremony, participants strolled to the auditorium for the Christmas concert, featuring musical performances by UC students. The evening concluded with snacks in the cafeteria. It was a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season!
Veteran's Day Ceremony - November 11, 2019
On Monday November 11, 2019, the student-led Hearts for Heroes Club hosted a Veteran’s Day Ceremony at school. The event is held annually and is open to anyone who feels patriotic and wants to celebrate America's veterans. The names of all 123 UC military alumni were included in the program and were displayed on a poster, which will be prominently located in the Main Lobby throughout the month of November. This year, we welcomed many UC Alumni Veterans home to their alma mater; it was a great day. The ceremony includes prayers and reflections about our service members. In addition, the wonderful voices of members of the UC Performing Arts Company led the attendees in a medley of the military anthems of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. If you were unable to attend the ceremony, it is available for viewing via UC Livestream on your computer or cell phone. https://livestream.com/unioncatholichs/events/8890943
Legacy Breakfast - October 9, 2019
There is no greater tribute to Union Catholic High School than when an alumna or alumnus chooses to send their child to their alma mater. Union Catholic takes immense pride in educating generations of UC families. To celebrate this special distinction, UC hosts an annual Legacy Breakfast. This year's event was held in the school library on Wednesday October 9. In the 2019-2020 school year, UC boasts of 41 current Legacy families representing 46 current students. #TraditionMeetsTomorrow
UC Hall of Fame - 2019
On Saturday, September 21, 2019 the Induction Ceremony was held for the UC Hall of Fame Class of 2019; photos will follow. A special congratulations to those Alumni who were inducted. If you would like to make a donation in honor of a classmate or friend, the money will support the Hall of Fame Endowed Scholarship Fund.
Click here to make a donation:
Click here to read more about the Union Catholic Hall of Fame.
UC Day at Monmouth Park - July 28, 2019
On Sunday July 28, 2019 more than 50 members of the UC Community shared a sunny, fun-filled day at Monmouth Park Racetrack. The attendees enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, corn-on-the-cob, salads, and watermelon, while betting on the races. There were also UC give-aways and raffle prizes. Union Catholic sponsored the sixth race; check out the photo of Sister Percylee with five UC alumni in the Winner's Circle, awarding the trophy to the winning jockey.