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Trustee arrivals and honors
Janet Lucas Whitman ’59, a member of the Skidmore College Board of Trustees since 1994, is its new chair. Whitman succeeds Suzanne Corbet Thomas ’62, who was chair for six years.
Thomas says she’s “truly delighted” by the appointment. She cites Whitman’s “experience in management and the arts, her passionate commitment to Skidmore, and her innate good sense,” and adds, “I know she will provide outstanding leadership at a time of tremendous promise for the college.”
Whitman has served or chaired trustee committees on budget and finance, special programs, strategic planning, academic affairs, and other areas. She was also on the search committee that brought Philip Glotzbach to the Skidmore presidency in 2003. An oil and pastel artist, she chairs the National Advisory Committee for Skidmore’s Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery. With her husband, Stephen, she funded the Whitman Family Scholarship and the Whitman Family Prize in Art History at Skidmore.
In 1999, when the alumni association gave her an Outstanding Service Award, she remarked that working for Skidmore always helped “renew and re-inspire me.” As board chair, she says, “I want to focus on continuing the good progress we’ve been making. Skidmore is such a great institution, and the board members are all in it for the right reasons.” She adds, “I believe the old truism that you get more out of anything you do when you work hard at it, so I’m thrilled and honored to be doing this. It’s an exciting culmination of my service at Skidmore.”
As a resident of Summit, N.J., and Sharon, Conn., Whitman says, “community service has always been the focus of my volunteerism.” She volunteered in Summit for twenty-six years before her election to two terms as mayor. In that volunteer post, she raised funds for a new city hall, renovations to the public library, and a program to provide home computers for high school teachers and students.
President of her freshman class at Skidmore, Whitman withdrew but then completed her degree in business in 1982 through Skidmore’s University Without Walls. The Whitmans have three children, including Sally ’87.
In other board news, several new trustees have been appointed: Michele Dunkerley ’80, Bernard Kastory, Judith Roberts Kunisch ’69, Bill Ladd ’83, and Barbara Kahn Moller ’78. For their profiles, click here.
Also last spring the board awarded its Denis B. Kemball-Cook Award to Lee Tidball. A professor emerita at George Washington University and an expert on single-sex and coed learning, she became a Skidmore trustee in 1988. She has served on several committees, chairing the Academic Affairs Committee since 1990. The award citation noted her “sensitive understanding of how educational institutions work … and her passionate devotion to young people and how they learn.”—SR