The Presidents Society is a group of dedicated alumni, parents, and friends who support Skidmore at a leadership level. These donors are integral in providing life changing opportunities for our students and faculty. Through their generosity and confidence in Skidmore, they set a standard for giving that inspires the entire College community.
- Logan Brenner '12
- Andrew Eifler '07
- Ann Shapps Schaffer '62
- Anonymous '59
- Jerome Mopsik '06 & Emily Carnevale Mopsik '07
- Sibyl Waterman Haley '71
- Ashley Woodhouse Slade '07
- Barbara Underhill Collyer '52
- Beverly Fuhrmann Gregory '64
- Claire Solomon '10
- Dominic Green '12
- Jean Adams Shaw '52
- Jessica Strasser '14
- Lisa Hilberg Craig '04
- Matt Ferrari '05
- Melvis Langyintuo '12
- Mollie Klee Heron '62
- Natasha Fahey '07
- Patricia Brennan '74
- Patricia Foreman Balbirer '63
- Patrick McEvoy '03
- Raina Bretan '10
- Scott and Cathy McGraw, Parents of Carolyn '12
- Sheila DeNadal Salvo '59
- Skylar Sasson '12
- Tanner Kaufman '11
- Terence Kennelly '10
- Larry Peck '92
- Gavin M. Townsend '00
- Jason Oppenheim '02
- Allison Kupfer Poteet '00
Logan Brenner '12
Why do you support Skidmore?
I support Skidmore because Skidmore supported me. Skidmore provided me with amazing opportunities to grow as a student and into the person I am today.
Being at a small school like Skidmore I was able to take advantage of multiple research opportunities in the Geosciences department and worked closely with my professors to improve my laboratory and writing skills. Because of these opportunities during my time at Skidmore I was able to present at an international conference, work in labs at other universities to expand my network, and produced a successful application for a national merit scholarship. These opportunities gave me the confidence to attend graduate school and I am now working towards my PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.
The academic support at Skidmore is unmatched and prepares students to be excellent communicators in a variety of media. I want to support Skidmore so the college can continue to provide other students with the opportunities that I was fortunate enough to have.
What is it about Skidmore that moves you to support the College at the leadership level of which you do?
As a student I always felt a close connection to the entire Skidmore community. My relationship to Skidmore gave me the support and confidence to put myself out there and try new things while a student. I still look to that support today when I have an obstacle to overcome in work or even social life. I donate at Friends of the President level as a young alum David H. Porter Associate. This helps me keep my connection to Skidmore and maintain my relationship.
I stay up to date on news and progress from the college as an FOP. I also feel like I am doing my part in giving back to the college that has given me so much. I know that I can still count on the college if I need support as an alum, particularly for career advice or networking opportunities. I also try to work with current students to help with post-graduate life, particularly in the sciences, to keep my connection strong. For me, being an FOP means that I am doing all that I can to continue to shape my relationship with Skidmore and to help to create one for current students.
Andrew Eifler '07
It's hard to choose just one reason why I give back to Skidmore. Thinking back to my experience at Skidmore, I was the beneficiary of alumni mentorship and now I am just paying it forward to the next generation. Over the past few years I’ve been helping sponsor one of the awards for the Kenneth A. Freirich business plan competition. I love the competition and seeing how hard the students work. That is very a very fulfilling experience for me.
Additionally, many of the connections I've made through Skidmore have turned out to be close personal friends as well as fruitful business relationships. Supporting Skidmore also makes me feel like I'm a part of a community, something bigger than myself. I credit much of my success to experiences I had at Skidmore. From athletics, to business classes, to art classes, it served as the perfect combination of things to make me who I am today.
I want others to have the same great experience that I had.
Ann Shapps Schaffer '62
"My name is Ann Schapps Schaffer, Class of 1962, and I'm a member of the Tang National Advisory Committee. I’ve been an FOP donor every year for 50 years!
I grew up here in Manhattan. In school, if it was raining, we'd go to a museum instead of gym class. I immediately got on board when Skidmore decided to build a museum. I'm always amazed when I see students and faculty come into the Tang to see things that are broader than art, like Molecules that Matter, which dealt with science. Wherever we go, wherever we travel, everyone's heard of the Tang and of Ian Berry, the Dayton Director. I think the Tang is incredible, and Skidmore is incredible too!
Why I give.
Why do I give? Because I was given – so much by Skidmore. The nursing program in which I was enrolled was one of the best in the country, exposing and teaching its students complete nursing and medical techniques. We did a five year course of study in 4 years going straight from the end of freshman year to graduation with just a day free for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. It was believed that educating the whole person not only medically but socially was important. You were taught to listen, understand and look beyond the obvious to help your patients.
This background prepared me to calmly think through problems and situations – looking at all the parts of the picture, it made me a good nurse, teacher and person.
I am very proud of the education and degrees I got and have no qualms bragging about them. Skidmore gave me this – I have to give back.
I give a fixed amount each spring to be used for part of a scholarship for a nursing or science oriented student. I follow this student during their junior and senior year. These past 2 years I have a young man who hopes to go to medical school but has also taken speech and acting classes to be better prepared to communicate with his patients. How fantastic. I love watching Gavin grow and reach for his goals.
Jerome Mopsik '06 & Emily Carnevale Mopsik '07
We support Skidmore because we are thankful for the education and experience gained at the college that was supported by both generous donors and our parents' contributions. Skidmore was more than just classes and parties; we made friends, discovered new interests, and found each other.
Giving at the Presidents Society level is an opportunity for us to make Skidmore more accessible to current and future students so they may have the chance to build their own Skidmore story.
Sibyl Waterman Haley '71
This is a picture of a beautiful lady, taken in October, 2015. She is beautiful inside and out. And she is 91 years old. Yes, that is true.
And her brown hair is also truly hers, without benefit of any coloring. Ever. It is surprising, I know. It is particularly surprising because she certainly earned a head full of gray. Or white.
This beautiful lady is my mother, Sibyl Dougherty Waterman. All through her school days, from age seven to her time at Smith College, this beautiful lady was on scholarship. She worried about money constantly. She did work study all her school years. She cleaned people's toilets to afford to go to Smith.
This beautiful lady is why I support Skidmore. I wish this beautiful lady hadn't had to worry about money constantly. I wish she didn't have to clean toilets to afford her education.
So, I have dug deep to support my own alma mater. I became an FOP years ago because I want to provide financial assistance to current generations of needy, worthy students. I couldn't help my beautiful mother, but I can give to ones like her. They deserve a chance too.
Oh, and you should know that she donates to Skidmore. Every year. She has for many decades. Because she believes in Skidmore. She wants to see its greatness continue. And she wants to help that happen.
Join us. We thank you.
Ashley Woodhouse Slade '07
I can honestly say that my four years at Skidmore have made me the person I am today. Prior to college, I did my best to blend in and not stand out in any way. My passion for riding was always supported by those who loved me, but never quite understood by my peers. At Skidmore, my experience was vastly different. From Day 1, Cindy Ford (Head Coach, Women’s Riding) and her colleagues embraced my love for the sport and pushed me to strive for my best. Cindy also stressed the importance of academics, which inspired me to not only excel in my classes, but to take classes I never thought I would. At Skidmore, I was challenged to give back to my community, become a well-rounded student, and act as a leader on the Riding Team. Because I was surrounded my people who believed in me, I ventured into unknown territory and took risks I previously never would have. Through this journey, I realized I was capable of tasks I had earlier considered impossible.
In my opinion, you can’t put a price on helping someone realize their true potential. That is why I believe my four years at Skidmore are priceless, and why I will continue to give as much as I can to the institution that showed me my wildest dreams were obtainable.
Barbara Underhill Collyer '52
The College is a philanthropic priority because Skidmore has had an amazing influence on my life that continues to this day. I'm particularly passionate about giving to the Endowment, as that grows and sustains the future of the College.
Beverly Fuhrmann Gregory '64
Skidmore gave me a wonderful education and college experience; so different from today's co-ed and twice as large in enrollment, on a totally new campus! I BELIEVE in giving back. Having been on various committees and the Alumni Council since graduation, I have stayed connected and continue to see what a great place Skidmore is. The students I meet on campus are thrilled to be there and part of a fine institution. Sometimes small is better.
Education is so important! Skidmore is not the only recipient of my giving, but I believe it is a terrific college, and currently can and do give at the Presidents Society level, to support the scholarships.
Claire Solomon '10
I support Skidmore because Skidmore made me who I am, and continues to connect me to people who teach me more about myself. I have never asked "why NOT Skidmore." Skidmore showed me the importance of becoming an engaged citizen, gave me the opportunity to create and nurture community, and continues to provide me with homes away from home wherever I am. I just can't think of any reason not to give--in time, in money, in passion--to a place that have given me so much.
Dominic Green '12
Skidmore gave me 4 years that inspired me creatively, challenged me intellectually, and opened doors to opportunities I never dreamed existed. I met my best friends, started 2 bands, and studied on four continents -- all with the support of the school and its resources. I will always give to Skidmore in the hope that future students will find their time in Saratoga Springs to be as rewarding as I found mine.
Jean Adams Shaw '52
As a member of the Executive Committee of the National Friends of the President for many (?) years it has been a privilege to serve an institution that continues to have a vision for the future and is led by a president who is able to articulate why a Skidmore education is more important and relevant today than ever. Communication to the alumni, students, parents, faculty and staff provides continuing updates to what is happening on the campus. For example, I was particularly interested in the article in the Fall 2014 issue of Scope that reported on the innovative green-energy projects, from a small groundbreaking new solar array to a small historic hydroelectric dam, helping to drive Skidmore's sustainability strategy (eight acres of 6,950 panels covering 12% of Skidmore's overall electricity needs.)
The students' lives today are far different from what we older alumnae experienced during our time living on Union Avenue--certainly far more expensive and complicated! Because of the continuing communication from the President and the support team, especially for the members of the Friends of the President (soon to have a new name), we members have grown to appreciate the extraordinary support from the members of the Office of Advancement.
I personally am a passionate supporter of a liberal arts degree. As John Cassidy wrote in the 9/7/15 issue of The New Yorker "To be clear, the idea is not that there will be a big financial payoff to a liberal arts degree." He continues to write "...that liberal arts will enrich your life and provide lessons that extend beyond any individual job. There are centuries of experience providing support for that notion."
Jessica Strasser '14
I learned so much at Skidmore, like how arts organizations run or what to put in the perfect D-Hall sandwich. I give to Skidmore because I want other students to have the chance to find what they love.
Lisa Hilberg Craig '04
I've given back at the leadership level every year since graduation and to be honest, it's sometimes a bit of a financial stretch. There are a dizzying number of charities out there today but a quick browse through Scope is enough to show how much of an impact Skidmore is having on the world, and to make me feel confident that I've made the right choice. It feels good to be among a core group of supporters who believe in paying it forward, and I hope that we're setting an example for future alumni.
Matt Ferrari '05
I support Skidmore because I want students to be able to experience a similar impact on their lives as Skidmore made on mine. At Skidmore, I learned life lessons both in the classroom and on the athletic field that have served me on a daily basis in both my personal and professional life, developed some of the strongest friendships that I continue to have to this day, and accomplished things that a few years prior to attending I could only have dreamed about.
Two months ago I officiated one of my best friend's wedding in Boston. He attended Skidmore with me all four of my years and there were over a dozen of us from Skidmore at the wedding (most played sports). We are as close as friends could possibly be ten years after graduating. I don't think you get that at every college, in fact I know you don't because people routinely comment on how close our group of Skidmore friends are (twelve of us talk daily) even though we went to school together quite some time ago.
Melvis Langyintuo '12
I came to Skidmore to study chemistry, but my Scribner seminar and the interdisciplinary curriculum opened my eyes to business & economics. I played basketball and was class president all four years. Following my freshman year I became a student counselor in the Higher Education Opportunity Program, HEOP, and I helped students transition from high school to college. Now as alum, I mentor and advise students on internships and transitioning into careers after college. Not everyone has the opportunity to go to a school like Skidmore. Skidmore helped meet my family’s financial need so I could attend. I support Skidmore because of everything I was able to achieve and accomplish; I didn’t do it alone. I am Always Skidmore.
Mollie Klee Heron '62
I stay connected to Skidmore as a volunteer, and contribute at the Presidents Society level because of the college’s sense of Community. While a Skidmore student, somehow the sense of Community was instilled in us, and it has been a vital part of Skidmore’s education ever since. My parents instilled this trait in me, as has my church, and I continue to live my life giving back as I was shown in my formative years. At the moment I am involved in driving for ITN, a service that provides rides to persons no longer able to drive themselves. I also am heading a group of people who make quilts for people in Alzheimer’s studies. The quilts in the picture of me are on display in a local high school library sharing with students the creativity of community members. Skidmore’s sense of Community lives on!
Natasha Fahey '07
My time at Skidmore College has some of the best memories for me. I learned so much through the books, exams, papers and classroom, and learned so much outside of the classroom. We all grew up and went through different growing pains. I was a student athlete, and that taught me how to be a team player and manage my time. My career has accelerated due to influence from many other alumni who have encouraged me and supported me. At Skidmore, I would go from a field hockey practice, to a practically private dance performance to an art show to a dj performance, and then study economics and political science in the library. The synergy between the variety of disciplines the school has to offer is unlike any other school. I give to Skidmore because I believe that a liberal arts education is one of the best foundations a young adult can give themselves to prepare them for the world. The experience at Skidmore is unique, and I want to see as many students as possible in the future be able to experience it. I will always give to Skidmore, because every day I was at Skidmore and even now as an alumni, Skidmore is always giving me more than I ever expected.
Patricia Brennan '74
I support Skidmore for so many reasons. The overarching reason is that my years at Skidmore quite literally changed my life, expanding my horizons both academically and socially.
I will always be grateful to the late Professor Madame Ortoleva, in the French department, who encouraged me to apply for a junior year abroad program at Hamilton College. That year in Paris taught me to be independent and gave me confidence in my ability to get along in a foreign country, travel alone, and meet people from so many different places.
I have fond memories of many happy hours spent at the Van Lennep Riding Center and all the friends I made there. I may have been the first person to ride sidesaddle in the arena! I remember long hours planning the Skidmore Riding Club Horse Shows and thrill of showcasing our equestrian talents to our dads on the now-extinct Happy Pappy Weekends.
Skidmore continued to play a major role in my life when my daughters, Laura and Kathleen, chose to attend, graduating with the Classes of 2010 and 2012, respectively. Each of them had an entirely different but equally inspiring experience at Skidmore, as Laura was a psychology major and Kathy was a Studio Art/Art History double major.
Being a Skidmore parent shed an entirely new light on the way a Skidmore education fosters independence, growth and confidence. Both my daughters took advantage of study abroad programs; while on campus, Kathy had the unique experience of access not only to the fantastic studio art facilities and the art and art history faculty, but also to the wonders of the Tang Museum. Laura had wonderful learning experiences with her Psychology professors. Kathy now wears my Skidmore class ring, which belonged to my aunt Jane Brennan, Class of 1944. Her love for Skidmore was one of the reasons I applied.
I feel privileged to serve as a Class Agent, working to encourage alums to give back to the school that gave us so much. Our class reunions get better and better. I am happy to report that the Skidmore Club of Philadelphia draws quite a crowd at all gatherings. I love that more and more people I meet have heard of Skidmore and recognize that it's a great school. My husband and I encourage all our friends to consider Skidmore when their kids are looking at colleges. To us, it's the best college out there, and it has gotten even better under the strong and inspired leadership of President Phil Glotzbach. I am proud to call Skidmore my alma mater.
Patricia Foreman Balbirer '63
I received a great liberal arts education at Skidmore and made friends for life. Art and I get such satisfaction knowing that our contributions help support an institution we’ve admired our entire lives. What a wonderful college!
Patrick McEvoy '03
Truthfully, the bench could be anywhere on the campus, but as my family spent many hours at those courts for myself and my sister Ashley, and given how important our teams and coaches are to us, we thought it was fitting. The bench represents much more than the memory of my mother. It is a reminder to me that neither of my parents had the opportunity to attend a 4 year college, much less a top liberal arts college like Skidmore. I give my time and money to Skidmore because I want the most deserving kids to have the opportunity that my sister and I had at Skidmore. The friends and network that we have from our Skidmore experience are an enormous part of the people we are today.
“Live a good life. And in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years.” Abraham Lincoln
Raina Bretan '10
I had the best four years of my life at Skidmore. I had a real stake in the community when I was on campus and I wanted to continue in that spirit after graduation.
Scott and Cathy McGraw, Parents of Carolyn '12
We recognize the depth and quality of our daughter Carolyn’s experience at Skidmore, and how a liberal arts education has helped her grow into a strong and independent thinker. We are strong believers in the mission of Skidmore—the education it provides students allows them to grow and flourish as productive citizens.
Sheila DeNadal Salvo '59
Skidmore matters to me because it’s educational philosophy has shaped the lives of 2 generations of our family, and is now shaping a third. It changed an adapted to the times, as each generation came along , so that each was, and will be, prepared to go into the world and make a difference. We would like to see other families have the same opportunity.
Picture: left to right
Cathi Salvo Harris '90, Emma Harris '16, Sheila DeNadal Salvo '59
Skylar Sasson '12
Why not give to Skidmore? I am grateful for my education and the opportunities my time at 815 North Broadway availed. I miss college daily -- all because I love Skidmore. Donating at the Presidents Society level as a recent young alumna is relatively manageable, and I feel proud of my contributions toward the College.
Tanner Kaufman '11
Giving is one of the best ways that I can stay involved in the Skidmore community, show my appreciation to the College for the remarkable education I received, and have a direct impact on the opportunities and programs available to current and future generations of students. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for Skidmore – I feel compelled to give back to a place that has given me so much.
Terence Kennelly '10
I support Skidmore because I am fortunate enough to have received a first-class Skidmore education and am lucky to be in a position in life where I can support current and future Skidmore programs and students. Skidmore provided me with a sense of identity, sense of purpose and sense of fulfillment that has put me in a position to be successful in life and got me to where I am today. I give to Skidmore not just because I can but because it keeps me a sense of fulfillment knowing that I can give back to an institution that provided me with so much over the years.
Skidmore is truly one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country and has a growing reputation across a number of academic fields. Keeping up this momentum and maintaining a high level of scholastic and athletic achievement requires support from college alumni and members of the community. When I make a gift to Skidmore, I know exactly what I am supporting and where the money goes and it makes me very pleased to know that I can support any number of athletic or academic programs with my gift.
Skidmore is a unique institution that has greatly influenced me and many others. I choose to support institutions that I believe share the same values as myself. Skidmore has shown a commitment to its students, its faculty, its community and the world and I believe that deserves recognition and support.
Since first stepping foot on the Skidmore campus in September 1996, Skidmore has been a truly meaningful place for me and my family. The students, the professors, and staff are all one supportive community and I can’t think of a better place to have spent the most formative years of my life. Regardless of where I end up in life, Skidmore is a place that I can always go back to and know that I’m home.
Larry Peck '92
I am committed to Skidmore first and foremost due to my belief in the importance of higher education as a requirement to compete in the New Economy. And second, a liberal arts education supports not only career success but also the love of continuous learning. Skidmore embodies this idea in its constant evolution of its curriculum.
Gavin M. Townsend '00
I give to Skidmore because I want for current and future students what Skidmore afforded me: the highest quality of interdisciplinary education in a true learning community with remarkable people, facilities, and opportunities that prepared me to navigate the real world with knowledge, skills and experience in order to make a positive difference. I know that seems like a tall order, but Skidmore is extraordinary and does not cease to amaze in its continued development as a first-rate institution of higher learning to deliver on its promise that Creative Thought Matters.
I attribute my own accomplishments and quality of life to the foundation I established at Skidmore, and it inspires me to imagine what current and future Skidmore students and graduates will achieve and contribute to our world with our support. To me, giving to Skidmore is a sound investment in our collective future. Skidmore made a significant and positive difference in my life, and I wish the same experience for all members of our community.
Jason Oppenheim '02
As an alumnus of Skidmore College, class of 2002, I am keenly aware of the many benefits of having attended this small liberal arts college. I was able to take advantage of many different programs including photography, English, Sociology, and even horseback riding. Most importantly, Skidmore allowed me the opportunity to discover and develop my passion in the field of Psychology. I attribute many of my current interest and strengths to my years at Skidmore and often reflect on those years fondly. I feel strongly that others should have the opportunity to have this experience, regardless of finances, and the pursuit of an education should only be limited by one’s interests. It is for these reasons that I support the financial aid program as a President Society member.
Allison Kupfer Poteet '00
My family worked very hard and sacrificed for me to have the opportunity to go to Skidmore, and it has made a huge difference in my life and career. I have benefited in so many ways, and it is a great feeling to stay connected through financial support that helps enable others to have similar experiences - to find and feed their passions.