- - - - - - - - - -
Alumni volunteer spotlight
Vis for volunteer,” says Dale Conron Ahearn ’75, who has run the gamut when it comes to volunteer roles, serving as a class, club, and fundraising leader.
After graduation, Ahearn became a class agent and began attending alumni club events in the Fairfield, Conn., area. In 1979 she assumed the Fairfield club presidency, which she went on to hold for 10 years. As club leader, she arranged luncheons with guest speakers, two children’s theater fundraisers in New Canaan, an annual barbecue for entering Skidmore freshmen from the Fairfield area, and other events. She also spearheaded a local prize program that awarded books to outstanding graduating seniors of the Greenwich and Ridgefield high schools. When club interest waned in the 1980s, Ahearn maintained the club’s incorporation status with the state of Connecticut by filing biannual papers. Even after club funds ran out, she continued the book awards on her own, making the presentations each May. But then, says Ahearn, “raising three children, building a house, and serving on community boards kept me busy.”
Son Matthew showed an interest in Skidmore, attended its Junior Admissions Workshop program, applied, and was enrolled in 1998. After attending her first Family Weekend as a parent, Ahearn again “caught the Skidmore fever,” she says, and “I made connecting a family affair.” Now all the Ahearn children have attended a Junior Admissions Workshop and a number of Connecticut regional events.
Ahearn and husband Dick also joined Skidmore’s Parents Council, whose members engage in fundraising, promote the College to high-school students, and provide internship and career opportunities to current students. And the Ahearns are contributors to the scholarship fund, enabling a Skidmore student to receive needed financial aid.
For the Class of ’75, Ahearn has been involved in fundraising not only as class agent but also as class chair for the Friends of the Presidents giving society. Most recently, she served on the planning and organization committee for her 25th reunion in June.
A nursing major, Ahearn did not spend all four of her Skidmore years on campus—all nurses participated in off-campus clinical placements in addition to a full complement of Skidmore course work—but her ties to the College are strong, in part because of family connections. Her legacy began with mother Margery VanSteeden Conron ’49 and aunt Juliana VanSteeden Alasso ’61, and it continues with Matthew Ahearn ’02. “Skidmore is not the same college I attended,” Dale Ahearn acknowledges. “It has improved tenfold. Yet it has the same core values Lucy Skidmore started with. Skidmore gave me a fine nursing education and all of us a foundation for life.” Nowadays, she adds, “the College can pride itself on its campus and new Tang Museum, but the students, faculty, staff, visiting groups and scholars—that’s what Skidmore is all about.”
Ahearn is a certified school nurse in Danbury, Conn., serving preschool through eighth-grade students. As a community volunteer, she has served the Ridgefield Newcomers board, the Lakes Association board, and the Scouts, and she has been a nurse for the Red Cross Bloodmobile program and for a blood-pressure clinic for senior citizens. She and her husband and three children, who live in Ridgefield, have hosted exchange students for many years. —SG