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Spring 2003

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Meet the 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).

When members of the Jewish Student Union approached Dean of Student Affairs Pat Oles last year about enhancing Jewish student life on campus, Oles contacted Hillels of Northeastern New York for advice and support. Skidmore then hired Margo Olson as coordinator of Jewish student life and interfaith programming to work with JSU, Rabbi Linda Motzkin, and the Intercultural Center.
     For Bradford Klatt ’74 and Robin Friedman Klatt ’76, this initiative presented an opportunity to “reconnect with Skidmore through something very dear to our hearts.” The couple met in 1976 when Robin, a nursing major and president of the Jewish Student Organization, invited Brad to attend a campus carnival marking the Festival of Purim.
     At home in Livingston, N.J., Brad is board president of the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy and Kushner Yeshiva High School, where Robin is director of development. The couple helped Kushner quintuple its student population and build a new $25 million facility on its thirty-acre campus. The Klatts also co-chair the parents’ fund and Hillel building committees at UPenn and Johns Hopkins.
     A co-managing partner of Roseland Property Company, Brad has used his professional connections to help realize major philanthropic goals. Roseland is helping to complete a new Hillel building at UPenn, is working on another at Johns Hopkins, and is developing a third—the largest Hillel in the United States—at Boston University.
     It didn’t take much convincing for the Klatts to lend their support to Skidmore’s expanding partnership with Hillel by giving to the college at the Friends of the Presidents level. “We were extremely receptive,” recalls Brad. “Our immediate response was ‘What can we do?’ Robin and I look back on our Skidmore years with a great deal of pride and joy. We both received an excellent education there.” The beauty of philanthropy, he adds, is that “once you find an organization that has need, purpose, and vision, all you need is one catalyst to see that vision to reality.” —MM

 


© 2003 Skidmore College