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alumni news

Reunion 2009 Almost 1,000 return to celebrate
Outstanding alumni recognized 11 awardees profiled
Giving in the family spirit Senior family-gift ceremony
FOSA gets in the swing Rackets and clubs get moving
Horse show rides high Saratoga Classic Horse Show a big draw
Still banking on Skidmore Giving makes it happen

 

Outstanding alumni recognized
Reunion 2009 brought honors for these 11 awardees (click here for full profiles):

Distinguished Achievement Award
. Steve Rosenbaum ’83 is a pioneer in documentary film and community media. A winner of two Emmys and many other awards, he created Broadcast: New York, produced for major TV networks, and compiled videos from the week after the 9/11 terrorist attacks into the acclaimed 7 Days in September. Today he’s CEO of Magnify.net, which provides an online video platform to give “new voices and new storytellers access to the tools” for sharing their views and experiences. He told the Reunion crowd that he was honored to be part of the “extraordinary, visionary community” of Skidmore alumni.

Creative Thought Matters Award. Nurse Pat McAuley Kolff ’64 watched her husband, Jack, launch Philadelphia’s first heart-transplant program in 1983. They soon realized that the program was excluding patients with insufficient means or insurance, so they created an innovative foundation, which Pat directed, to provide financial, social, and emotional support. Today her brainchild, called the National Transplant Assistance Fund, helps all kinds of transplant patients and families to organize grassroots fundraising. Kolff declared, “I love this award, but it really belongs to the tens of thousands of creative NTAF supporters.”

Palamountain Award for Young Alumni Achievement. Growing up on a dairy farm, Amanda Larson ’99 never imagined she’d run a large philanthropic estate. But she was barely out of college when her great-aunt died and left a will stipulating that Larson was to handle her assets by creating and managing a charitable foundation. Larson rose to the challenge, hiring legal and financial staff, drafting bylaws, and awarding grants to hospitals, theaters, youth shelters, and more. She said her 5-year-old articulated her own thoughts best when, asked how she’d climbed a high wall, she replied, “I just tried it, that’s all.”

Porter Award for Young Alumni Service. Emily Rover ’99 has served in many volunteer roles for her alma mater, especially its Friends of the Presidents giving society. In 2008 she became the Agnes Gelinas Young Alumni Trustee. Led by her parents’ example in civic engagement, Rover has said the “wonderful education” she received at Skidmore made her “want to do everything possible to make these opportunities available to others.”

50th-Reunion Outstanding Service Award. Evy Zoda Shippee ’59 says she has used her Skidmore education in professional and volunteer work and throughout her life (she is a mother of five, four of whom are Skiddies). She has helped lead reunions and other initiatives on behalf of her classmates, whom she described as “pioneers, initiators, and doers who learned the value of meeting challenges, leading the way, and giving back.”

Outstanding Service Awards. Martha Dunkel Chilcott ’49 became class agent after her 25th reunion and has chaired several other class reunions. “Thrilled and humbled” by the award, she said, “Skidmore has done far more for me than I could ever repay.”

Anne Ballinger Wil­cox ’54, a volunteer in many roles, quipped, “This award implies some sacrifice on my part, so I ought to give it back!” But she promised to keep it “as a reminder of Skidmore’s rich heritage and dynamic future, and friendships forged and treasured.”

Steffenie Oliver Kirkpatrick ’74 was “electrified” by Skidmore’s courage in the financial crisis of the 1970s; since Skidmore was preserved for her, she’s paying that back as a fundraiser. She thanked fellow volunteers and “all the classmates who said ‘yes.’”

Lisa Lavieri ’79 was active as a student and has kept it up, especially in annual and reunion giving. Applauding “the amazing class of ’79,” she said, “It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to be part of their lives for the past 30 years.”

Frits Abell ’94 believes in relationship-building. With a few other alumni he co-founded the Skidmore Business Network, an alumni group in New York City that soon spread to other cities too. He told the audience, “I sense a buzz in this room—a web of volunteering for Skidmore—and I love the buzz!”

Honorary Alumna. From 1995 to 2006 Marny Krause was Skidmore’s development director and then associate vice president for advancement. Helping donors and volunteers find satisfying ways to contribute to Skidmore, she built friendships with scores of alumni, who value her “sunny disposition,” “sharp mind,” and “warm, collegial personality.” Krause told the audience, “It’s easy to ask for money when working with such great volunteers and colleagues.” —MM, SR