Investments for the Future

Investments for the future

Gathering in New York City, the Friends of the Presidents celebrated the power of a Skidmore education.

December 17, 2012

Imaginative. Provocative. Transformative. Those three words capture much of what happens during a student’s four years at Skidmore. And so it was fitting that they framed the evening’s program at last month’s Friends of the Presidents Event at The TimesCenter in New York City.

Last year, the 1,075 alumni, parents and friends who make up the Friends of the Presidents contributed close to $19 million to Skidmore, or 90 percent of the total gifts made. By spotlighting the achievements of a dozen remarkable Skidmore students, the evening aimed to illustrate the many ways in which this support fuels accomplishment and prepares students for life beyond Skidmore.

Another objective: To induct 14 new members of the Parnassus Society, all of whom have contributed $1 million or more to the College.

Introduced by Nancy Brennan, chair of the National Friends of the Presidents Committee, President Philip A. Glotzbach acknowledged the difficulties many members of the Skidmore family have faced in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. “At moments like this,” he noted, “we understand the importance of community and how critical it is that we instill in our students a strong sense of civic responsibility.”

Hearkening back to the time just after his arrival at Skidmore, Glotzbach recalled that “apps did not exist, the human genome had not yet been fully mapped, and Pluto was still a planet.”  But over the decade in which he has served as the College’s  president, the world has seen tremendous upheaval of all kinds – social, economic, scientific, climate-related – and this has in many ways “shifted our fundamental sense of our country, our world, ourselves.”

“More than ever,” he noted, “the world needs Skidmore. Preparing students for these new challenges means that we must ensure that all of our students graduate with the capacity and knowledge to engage thoughtfully and responsibly with the many scientific challenges and decisions facing us – global warming, renewable energy, sustainability. Also, we must prepare our students to face an increasingly diverse, multicultural, multilingual world, a world in which commerce and ideas flow across borders not in the space of minutes or hours but in seconds, where the idea of a ‘majority’ population has been rendered moot, and where the capacity to talk across differences is not simply desirable but absolutely essential.”

Going forward, Glotzbach said the College will have to direct its energies in three main areas:

  • a major investment in the sciences, in which fully a third of all Skidmore students are now majoring;
  • a continuing effort to expand financial aid;
  • an expansion of internships and collaborative research, opportunities that enable students to apply what they learn in the real world.

“These investments hold great promise for our future, but they require hard work, tremendous commitment and will, and the continued support of you and other members of the extended Skidmore family,” he noted. “It is a great privilege for me to act as the steward for this marvelous college and, on behalf of our students, faculty, and staff, I want you to know how tremendously grateful I am for your support.”

  • As her senior thesis, Talya Wolf  '13, a chemistry major with a concentration in dance,  choreographed a dance that depicts the process of photo-trigger linkage isomerization.  Four dancers -- several of whom also are majoring in the sciences -- interpreted the process as Wolf described it.
  • Brandyn Solano '15, recounts his summer internship with the New York Department of Probation, funded by the New World Foundation.
  • Zachary Fagiano '13 and Hope Schwartz-Leeper '13, winners of the 2012 Kenneth A. Freirich Business Plan Competition, founded Wellfleet Sea Salt with help from alumni mentors and investors.
  • Young Alumnus Trustee Jonathan Brestoff '08 lifts a glass with Parnassus inductee Hadley Sillick Robertson '60 and Tim Clemmey '90, Skidmore staff member.
  • Student performers and speakers mingle before the program.
  • President Philip A. Glotzbach chats with guests during the reception.
  • Young alumni catch up during the Friends of the Presidents reception.
  • President Philip A. Glotzbach inducts the newest members of the Parnassus Society which recognizes lifetime giving of $1M or more to Skidmore College.  From left:  Selma and Irving Harris, Parents '76 and '79; Hadley Sillick Robertson '60; Barbara McGrew Jenkel '62 and husband Paul, and Peg and Mike Valentine, Parents '09.
  • Carolyn Bottelier '13 and MaryLeigh Roohan '13 sing 'Eight Days a Week', a performance from Beatlemore Skidmania, Skidmore's annual Beatles tribute concert.
  • Melvis Langyintuo '12, class president, hugs student performer Carolyn Bottelier '13 .
  • Marie Glotzbach chats with Cathy McGraw, parent Class of 2012.


Posted On: 12/17/12

Tags: FOP, President Glotzbach, Nancy Brennan