March 31
April 7


Mrs Perkins' Garden Tea Party

View Mrs. Perkins' Garden Tea Party event announcment

Mrs. Perkins (1835-1922) is still remembered at Union for the beautiful flower garden she tended for over 50 years in the area south of Old Chapel. Join us in celebrating the end of the long winter of 2013-2014 with tea, refreshments, and a glimpse of Mrs. Perkins’ Garden as it looked in full flower. Learn too about the many facets of the woman known on campus as “The Duchess”:

Olga holds up a cut out of Anne Perkins while standing by an event panel that talks about who the Duchess was. 

Who was Anne Dunbar Potts Perkins?

The Gardener

Who grew plants indoors and out year-round, published an illustrated description of her campus garden in a national magazine, and recorded her appreciation for the entire Union College landscape throughout the year.

The Writer

Who published short stories in collections with the likes of Harriet Beecher Stowe, translated works from French, German, and Italian, and wrote hundreds of vivid and entertaining letters (now held in Schaffer Library’s Special Collections) about life at Union between 1895 and 1904.

The Educator

Who hosted book clubs and literary discussions in her home, lectured on literary topics, and taught classes for the local community.

The Citizen of the World

Who traveled to Europe during her youth, whose interest in politics spanned the globe, and who became an active member of Schenectady institutions such as the YWCA.

The Matriarch


Who was married to one Union College professor, mother-in-law to another, and mother to three accomplished children including two daughters who were active in the women’s rights movement.

The College Icon

Who provided support to the other women and the young faculty at Union, and who was so deeply involved in the life of the College that graduating seniors would ask her to autograph their diplomas.


Closing Event


Monday, April 7th, 2014 @ 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. at the Old Chapel 


Selected photos from the exhibit event:


Sponsored by the Schaffer Library Research Fellow Program. 
Funded by the Robert J. Mielke Library Endowment.