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Join the Friends of the Presidents!
Established in 1966, the Friends of the Presidents society recognizes the College’s most generous donors, who set a standard of support and an example of leadership. This year marks the first-ever increase in the giving level for membership, from $1,000 to $2,000 (with a sliding scale of lower amounts for the 19 most recent classes.) Meet two Skidmore parents who have given at the FOP level since their son’s freshman year.
In a world where busy working parents are often accused of ignoring their kids and leaving their upbringing and education to others, Johan de Voogd and Madi Ferencz deVoogd don’t fit the mold. Since son Peter ’01, a business major, came to Skidmore in 1997, the deVoogds have been actively involved in his education and the college—as volunteers, leaders, and donors.
During Peter’s first year, the deVoogds joined the Parents Council, which helps the college in admissions, fundraising, and career services. They will continue to serve until Peter’s graduation in May. “The Parents Council has given us a special insight into life at Skidmore,” they say. “The meetings have been informative, especially at a time when our sons and daughters are not so forthcoming with what is really happening on campus!”
Also during Peter’s first year, they began contributing to the Annual Fund at the Friends of the Presidents level. “We realize that tuition does not cover the costs of a Skidmore education,” they explain, “and we strongly believe in supporting the school that is helping to shape our son’s mind, skills, and future. Sufficient funding is necessary to attract top-quality professors, keep low faculty-student ratios, and create an environment in which personal involvement with faculty can flourish.”
And they take their convictions about personal involvement one step further: as successful businesspeople, both deVoogds have been guests in Skidmore’s Business 107 course, which brings in local and regional business professionals to serve as evaluators for the students’ final presentations. Johan is managing director of American European Asset Management LLC in New York City, while Madi is the founder and CEO of consumer products companies including Magic Sliders LP. Each holds B.A. and M.B.A. degrees. In BU 107, they say, “The teachers are dynamic and the course structure is very engaging.” In addition, “The skills and knowledge garnered in this course are so very useful, no matter what path a student will follow in life.”
The deVoogds know that when it comes to community involvement, what goes around comes around: in their four years with Skidmore they’ve seen that “the volunteer activity of all people who devote their time to the students has greatly enriched our son’s experience.” No wonder they believe that “parents should make as significant a contribution as possible, because what our sons and daughters get from their Skidmore experience is so much more than tuition can pay for.” —SG