A line in the 1951 yearbook reads, “Four years’ citizenship at Skidmore College has afforded us a wealth of wonderful memories which will be locked in our trunks and our hearts…forever.” For their fiftieth reunion, the alumnae of ’51 dedicated themselves to bringing to campus a treasure trunk bearing $200,000 for Skidmore’s annual fund. Along the way, eighteen ’51ers joined the Friends of the Presidents, thanks to a challenge issued by two classmates: for every new FOP donor, they would add an extra $1,000 to the gift trunk.
Inge Jensen Brown ’51 followed her Skidmore degree in art with study at Harvard Business School and graphic design study in Switzerland. As a leader of the Katonah Art Gallery, Silvermine Center for the Arts, and Hudson River Museum, she has spent a lifetime sharing art with the public. Grateful for the college education that was denied her Danish mother, Brown says Skidmore provided “a fabulous four years that prepared me well for many more intellectual, creative, and socially responsible opportunities.” Brown marked her reunion with a gift at the FOP’s Wilson Associates level.
With a Skidmore degree in English and graduate work in education, Patricia Grummon Clegg ’51 spent many years teaching English to business executives in Spain, Belgium, Japan, and Brazil, where she lived with husband George, overseas director of a multinational corporation. She states, “My education at Skidmore gave me the foundation on which to build the life I dreamed of while I was there: living around the world and adapting to new cultures, new people, and new work.” Her reunion gift qualified her as a Keyes Associate in FOP.
For Maureen Hanway Foulke ’51, Skidmore provided “an exciting and stimulating advanced education” and, as her “first home away from home,” also offered “a sense of growth and independence.” Foulke and her late husband, Roy, supported Skidmore’s educational mission through the college’s annual and pooled-income funds; with her FOP gift this year, she became a Wilson Associate. As an alumna volunteer and parent of Sarah ’77, Foulke has heeded the advice she once penned to classmates: “Think about Skidmore and fill it with your progeny.”
Ruth Purdy Frenzel ’51, a Keyes Associate, is proud of helping Skidmore become one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation. Her volunteer leadership includes service as president of the alumni association in 1975-78. Married to former Minnesota Congressman and Brookings Institute scholar William Frenzel, she became a force in Minnesota politics, serving as convention delegate and campaign advisor, and also a leader of the Republican Congressional Wives Club and other D.C. organizations. The mother of Deborah ’75 and Melissa ’80, Frenzel says, “No other institution could have prepared me and my daughters for our incredibly rich and active lives. Skidmore prepared us to be leaders back in the ’40s and ’50s, and it is still educating leaders today.”
Says Joan Weis Jameson ’51, “I still remember Skidmore with great warmth. It was a wonderfully broadening time intellectually and socially.” She has demonstrated her appreciation by serving as a reunion and leadership gift volunteer. For her fiftieth reunion, Jameson made a generous gift placing her among the Palamountain Associates in FOP. Her Skidmore legacy spans four decades, from sister Jessica Weis Warren ’48, to nephew Charles Warren ’76, to cousin Marie Whitbeck McNabb ’88. —MM