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Spring 2001

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On Campus




Alumni Affairs
and Development




Principles profaned
Woodlawn memories
Rah for rowing
Walking in the woods


How proud I am of my college when I read articles like the one on chaplain Kathleen Buckley [winter 2001 Scope]. Bravo, Skidmore, for supporting and celebrating diversity. Bravo, Kathleen Buckley, for your courage and compassion.

Dana Warner Fisher ’71
Crawfordsville, Ind.

I commend you for the publication of “On Being Brown at Skidmore” in the winter Scope. Only an academic institution sure of its mission and confident of its performance would include an article citing a “shortcoming”—particularly in an area as sensitive as diversity—in a publication circulated to its broader family. Well done!

John Dayton, P ’98
Dallas, Texas

Principles profaned

During my time at Skidmore (1973-75) I encountered many people who held philosophical positions which differed from mine and appeared to be sanctioned by college authorities. Having been taught that colleges were places of higher learning, I refrained from forming opinions or making comments about my experiences at the time. In retrospect, I realize that many of those positions should have been denounced.

I learned prejudice at Skidmore, where I met a black girl who made it clear that I was not acceptable to her because of my skin color. I learned that drugs and promiscuous sex were acceptable.

Since leaving Skidmore I have been hoping for better things, but after reading the winter Scope article “Welcome: Chaplain Offers Guidance…” I find myself unable to continue any further association with Skidmore College. The appointment of a practicing lesbian to the post of chaplain flies in the face of all Judeo-Christian principles and makes a mockery of the office of chaplain. These are not the values Skidmore should be teaching our youth.

Mary Hollis Hutchinson ’77
Dallas, Texas

I was upset to read that Skidmore has a chaplain who is not setting a good example in her own life. And I was saddened by the complaining attitude of the young woman who wrote “On Being Brown at Skidmore.” The college has turned away from its founding values of Christian morality and respect.

My memories of the “greatest generation” include being curfewed and protected. We obeyed the rules for fear of being expelled. We honored our founder’s principles. We had meals with the faculty and said grace beforehand. We sang hymns at required Sunday-night vespers. And we considered attending Skidmore a wondrous privilege.

Skidmore of today, forgive us. We have failed you. You have profaned our founder’s principles and you don’t even know it. Ouch, it hurts!

Peggy Jouard Gibson ’41
Dallas, Texas

Woodlawn memories

“Whose Woods These Were” was most interesting. The picture on page 25 turns back the years for me! This was taken at our first and only skiing lesson with Dartmouth ski coach Otto Schniebs and Dartmouth student Dick Durrance, who was later an Olympic star. We were very close to the present campus. The college furnished a bus to take us all out there that day.

Those pictured are: Schniebs, Ruth Cathcart [Butler] ’36, Ruth Suttie [Whiting] ’36, Charlotte Pease [Davis] ’36, Betty Smith [Truog] ’36, Fran Wheeler ’37, Durrance, another student from ’37, Katharine Wolff [Shuchman] ’37, Helen Bates [Witherspoon] ’36, Virginia Sturz [Hare] ’36, and (cut off the right side of the picture) Shirley Belcher ’36. We were all physical education majors.

Otto Schniebs was a successful Olympic team trainer, the author of two books, instigator of American “ski trains,” and popularizer of downhill and slalom skiing in the United States.

Charlotte Pease Davis ’36
Lee, Mass.

My roommate and I loved to [visit Woodlawn and] walk through the oak leaves to hear them crackle. We would say, “What a lovely setting this would make for the college.” We would sit there just watching the changing sky over the Adirondacks. Then at our 25th reunion in 1961, everyone was so excited about the prospects of the college moving to this location that our reunion sort of took a back seat.

The photo of the skiers [includes] Otto Schniebs, the Dartmouth ski coach, who spent a day at Skidmore giving us some of the basic points. The physical education majors who entered in 1932 make up most of the class.

Ski lifts? We used womanpower! You side-stepped or herringboned up the slopes. The first “ski lifts” were made of rope, but as far as I know none were in use around Saratoga.

Three of the Class of ’36 PE majors are still alive. I expect to return for my 65th reunion in June, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the other two were there.

Ruth Suttie Whiting ’36
Peoria, Ariz.

My grandfather Maurice O’Connell was a caretaker at Woodlawn Park in the ’20s and ’30s. I still have in my possession some furniture and crystal with the Hilton initials.

I recall skiing, not on the slope, but cross-country on the trails to the west of North Broadway, down past the still-to-be-seen cistern. Unlike President Moore and Dean Bridgman, I didn’t break a leg, but I came close at times.

Like Tommy McTygue, I too remember swimming in the Vly. But he didn’t mention that we were usually “au naturel”!

J. Michael O’Connell
Former Mayor, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Rah for rowing

I loved the winter Scope article about crew. The author really wrote about the true feeling and meaning of rowing. I hope all the crews do well this spring—and I will cheer lustily when they come here to Ithaca—but more, I hope they all learn to feel the joys of rowing for their whole lives.

Barbara Underhill Collyer ’52
Ithaca, N.Y.

Walking in the woods

I enjoyed the article on the North Woods. As a twenty-three-year walker in the woods [and deputy commissioner of New York State Parks], I have enjoyed those Skidmore lands and their rich bird life. We are now on our third collie, who joins me on a walk through the North Woods early each morning.

We live at the edge of the woods and have certainly learned that Mom (Mother Nature) takes charge when runoff and seasonal streams threaten to back up and inundate the house.

Julie Stokes
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

I grew up on Clinton Street and as a teenager in the ’60s spent much time exploring those woods. I can even remember the remaining stone blocks and the standing arch of the Wayside mansion. I have been to the “Indian mortar” twice, in the early ’60s and again in the mid-’70s.

James Jordan
Cassville, N.Y.


© 2001 Skidmore College