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Prospects

One Saturday in August, I joined about fifty alumni and parents from the Boston, Albany, and Hartford clubs at Tanglewood to hear the Boston Symphony Orchestra with renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma. Before the concert started, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to find a man about my age with his wife and two sons. He asked me if I had graduated from Skidmore. When I said yes, he motioned toward one of his kids and said, “My son is in the Class of ’09.” So I introduced myself and enjoyed a chat with the incoming freshman.

Will Cusey, a cellist and baseball catcher, will have settled into campus by now. He chose Skidmore because it has the three essentials for his interests: an interdisciplinary Asian studies program, a strong music department, and an up-and-coming varsity baseball team. He had been working on his Chinese language studies and plans to continue at Skidmore. He’s planning to play cello with the chamber ensemble. And he hopes to make the Thoroughbreds baseball team, last year’s Liberty League champs.

They say catchers wear “the tools of ignorance”—that is, the mask and other gear needed to face fastballs and foul balls. But that’s an old baseball reference that doesn’t ring true anymore—either for catchers in general (think of Red Sox captain and ace tactician Jason Varitek) or for Will. In making the decision to come to Saratoga, he has left the “tools of ignorance” far behind.

At some point in his Skidmore life, he’s going to have to make some tough choices. For one thing, baseball and cello are not always compatible activities: a catcher’s hands are targets as well as tools, and one all-too-common hand injury could ruin his bowing capability. But right now, Will has only opportunities. He’s entering a world of promise and prospect, and Skidmore is opening the door for him.

Deborah Sehl Coons ’72,
Alumni Association President