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"Generosity and selflessness” were honored this winter when more than 300 members of Skidmore’s Friends of the Presidents society gathered for the college’s annual recognition dinner in New York City.
Pat Oles, dean of student affairs, remarked, “When we talk about becoming a Friend of the Presidents, we are talking about a public and purposeful relationship built on shared commitments to what is good, what is worthy. Friendship in this tradition…is the basis for what is best about our community life.”
President Philip Glotzbach continued the theme, pointing to the nearly seventy members of the Parnassus Society—those who have contributed more than $1 million to Skidmore during their lifetimes. (Twenty-one new Parnassus members were inducted during the FOP event.) “The stories of these individuals are truly woven into the fabric of the college,” Glotzbach said, citing scholarships, facilities, faculty chairs, and other essentials of academic and campus life that bear the names of key donors. The recognition dinner, he told the crowd, was an opportunity to “celebrate the many underlying acts of generosity and selflessness that are the bedrock of an institution such as Skidmore.”
Quoting Martin Luther King Jr.—“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the creative light of altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness”—Glotzbach observed, “Creativity inherently connects with a fundamental belief in a better future, and that future will come to pass only if
we make our creative thoughts real. That is what we do at Skidmore. That is what you help us do by offering us your support.”
Established in 1966, the Friends of the Presidents society recognizes 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 alumni classes. —SR