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Join the Friends of the Presidents!
Established in 1966, the Friends of the Presidents society recognizes the College’s most generous donors, who set a standard of support and an example of leadership. This year marks the first-ever increase in the giving level for membership, from $1,000 to $2,000 (with a sliding scale of lower amounts for the 19 most recent classes.) Meet two new FOP members:
Assigned as roommates during their freshman year at Skidmore, Michele Dunkerley ’80 and Mary Vail ’80 have remained the best of friends. “I’ve often said I’d like to shake the hand of the person who put us together,” says Vail.
In honor of their 20th reunion, they each made contributions to this year’s Annual Fund at the Friends of the Presidents level, helping to break the record for a 20th-reunion class. In addition, Dunkerley significantly increased her gift to show her gratitude and affection for a favorite faculty member: to honor Professor of American Studies Mary C. Lynn, she has essentially underwritten the publication of Lynn’s forthcoming history of Skidmore College. Vail’s gift, in memory of her late classmate and fellow art major Nancy Caraboolad Hayes ’80, supported refurbishment of kilns in Skidmore’s ceramics studio.
After graduating from Skidmore in economics, Dunkerley earned a master’s in public affairs and a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She is now vice president and deputy general counsel at Dell Computer Corporation in Austin, where she focuses on commercial sales and government relations. Dunkerley says, “Giving to the College has been important and rewarding to me. I made some wonderful friends at Skidmore, and that alone would make the experience very dear.”
Vail went on to Indiana University at Bloomington for graduate courses in metalsmithing. Then she relocated back to the Capital District of New York. After working for a jeweler for many years, she bought her own store in Delmar. Joyelles Jewelers, which specializes in custom design and repair, recently celebrated its 10th year. Says Vail, “The years I spent at Skidmore were times of great personal growth for me, and it still feels like home when I visit for an art opening or other event.” Her other home, in Delmar, includes daughter Katherine, 16, and two other teens who came from an abusive household.
Both Dunkerley and Vail say they plan to continue giving at the FOP level as they are able. —SG