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Summer 2000

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Seven receive accolades

Awardees and other VIPs: Joe Napolitano ’85, Kathy Coulter Steeger ’80, Barbara Sabia ’80 (nominating committee chair), John Howley ’80, Hadley Sillick Robertson ’60, Vincent Catalano ’83 (awards committee chair), President Jamienne S. Studley, Jeanne Shipp Waldinger ’68 (vice president for board relations), Susan Rabinowitz Malloy ’45, Professor Sheldon Solomon, Amy O’Leary ’92 (incoming reunion chair), Beverly Harrison Miller ’67 (alumni association president), and Sybil Waterman Haley ’71 (reunion-giving chair)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     A centerpiece of Reunion, the alumni awards ceremony this year honored six alumni and a faculty member for exceptional service and accomplishments.

DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

     Before and after Skidmore, John Howley ’80 spent time in the Philippines. A government and history major, he later earned a J.D. magna cum laude from New York Law School. Then he combined his law training with his interests in Asia and international trade; he is now a partner in the litigation department of Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hayes & Handler. He writes and lectures and advises various trade groups and agencies in the U.S. and Asia. And he has been honored for his pro bono work on behalf of the poor and underrepresented on death row.

     Howley said, “My Skidmore professors nurtured my interest in Asia, opened my eyes to the importance of economics in our development, and provided a foundation for my work as an advisor to the Philippines.” He recalled, “It was Tom Lewis [professor of English] who told me I was thinking in black and white and needed to see the grays. That jump-started my analytical abilities.” And he told his classmates in the audience, “You brought so much joy to my life. I love you guys.”

OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARDS

     A Skidmore museum was long a dream of Susan Rabinowitz Malloy ’45, and with her moral and material help, the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery is finally a reality.

     An art major at Skidmore, Malloy studied at the Art Students League in New York City and attended a workshop in Italy. Marriage and children followed, but she has always continued painting, often exploring the shapes and colors of nature. Her works have been exhibited at a wide range of art centers, museums, and universities.

     Malloy has served Skidmore as class president, class secretary, and regional campaign leader. And she endowed the Malloy Visiting Artist series, because, she says, “People must be exposed to art, especially new and sometimes daring forms, and art students must see the work of professional artists.” Malloy told the Reunion audience that she is grateful to Skidmore because her art education nurtured what became “the fundamental core of my life.”

     “Hope you won’t be an ouch potato much longer. Get well soon,” and “Miss your smile, crocodile. How’s bayou?” are just two examples of the fun that Jean “Hadley” Sillick Robertson ’60 has had as a creator of greeting cards.

     A math major, Robertson worked for Sperry Univac, but then she discovered drawing and painting classes. When a cartooning course turned out to be full, she signed up for a greeting card course instead, and soon afterward she became a regular supplier for Recycled Paper Greetings, providing more than a thousand designs before her retirement last year.

     Meanwhile, Robertson was serving her alma mater as a class agent and reunion planner, Friends of the Presidents and campaign volunteer, and member of the alumni board. She and her husband have also endowed a scholarship fund at Skidmore. She said, “I still get so much from Skidmore. What a wonderful feeling it is to be interested in something. It’s a feeling I came to know well at Skidmore.”

     A business major, Katharine Coulter Steeger ’80 worked in marketing and public relations after graduation. Now a full-time mom, she’s still putting her creativity, energy, and expertise to work for Skidmore. Steeger has been class president, secretary, fund chair, and reunion planner. When facing challenges, she said, instead of asking why, “I look for the why-not and then make it happen.”

     She added, “Being involved as an alumna has allowed me to stay in touch with classmates and to give something back to a place that has meant so much to me.” As a Friends of the Presidents leader, she has enjoyed “working to ensure that Skidmore thrives well into the 21st century. Past alumni helped me, and I want to help future students to benefit as I did from Skidmore’s wonderful education.”

     The Steeger family lives in Medford, Mass., where she also volunteers for Massachusetts Citizens for Vaccination Choice.

     A trauma and critical-care nurse at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Joseph Napolitano ’85 relishes the challenge of responding to urgent needs—from the high of saving a life to the low of cleaning up a mess.

     After majoring in biology-chemistry and philosophy, Napolitano earned a master’s in public health at Yale and worked in hospital administration. But he craved hands-on work, so he entered nursing school at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a B.S.N. and M.S.N. An assistant nurse manager and nurse practitioner with advanced certifications, he also teaches at the nursing school. He and his wife live in Bryn Mawr.

     Right after graduation, Napolitano became class president and class agent; he was reunion chair in 1988-91 and awards committee chair in 1996-99. Coming from the Jesuit tradition of being “a man for others,” he says, “I believe in community involvement. Scholarship aid let me come here, and I give back so that others can have their own unique Skidmore experience.”

     Professor of Psychology Sheldon Solomon is known for his scholarship on “terror management”: he argues that fear of mortality drives people to construct cultural institutions like churches and social groups that help them ease or cope with their terror. After earning his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, Solomon joined the Skidmore faculty in 1980. He and his wife and two children live in Saratoga Springs, where he is part-owner of Esperanto restaurant.

     Popular for his lively teaching style, he has “always been excited about being part of the process by which education can transform a person.” Solomon also earns rave reviews from participants in Skidmore’s special seminars for older adults, alumni and parents at Summer Exploration, and alumni at regional club gatherings.

     But Solomon told the Reunion audience that his award should be for receiving the most service, because over the years “my students have taught me to teach better, served as my real-estate agents and lawyers, gone into business with me . . . . Thank you for the ongoing opportunity for me to be served by this community!” —SG, SR

 


© 2000 Skidmore College