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Arts on view
Join friends of the presidents.
Established in 1966, the Friends of the Presidents Society recognizes the college’s most generous donors, who set an example of leadership in annual giving (the gift level for membership is $2,000, with a sliding scale of lower levels for the most recent classes). Meet an alumna whose gift helps honor a favorite professor:
“In hindsight,” says Boston attorney Janet Reardon ’92, “I should have majored in English.” Certainly, majoring in government provided her with a sensible background for the study of law. Yet Reardon, who earned a J.D. from Fordham in 1997, believes that some of her most significant undergraduate learning took place in the classroom of English professor Ralph Ciancio. Clearly, she is not alone in this belief: when Ciancio retired last year, the Ralph A. Ciancio Award for Excellence in Teaching was established to honor his remarkable career at Skidmore and to recognize a faculty member with similar talents and dedication to teaching.
As Reardon became involved in planning for her class’s tenth reunion in 2002, she contemplated what aspects of her Skidmore years still hold the most meaning for her, and the multifaceted lessons imparted by Ciancio came immediately to mind. So when she made a gift at the FOP level earlier this year, she asked that a considerable portion of it be used to support the Ciancio award. “For me, Professor Ciancio epitomizes the Skidmore experience,” she reflects. “He loves teaching and is genuinely interested in his students’ intellectual growth. I remember students who were almost surprised at how much fun they were having while getting through a particularly dense Nabokov passage.”
Reardon considers all four years at Skidmore, including a junior year in Paris, as integral to her development. “I learned so much at Skidmore, both on campus and abroad, that I feel I left as a completely different person.” Today her volunteer activities and FOP-level support, she says, “are just my way of giving back to a place that has given so much to me.”—MM