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Summer 2001

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Alumni and a favorite prof receive honors

     A centerpiece of Reunion 2001 was the recognition of five alumni and a professor for their accomplishments and service to Skidmore.

Distinguished Achievement Award

     This year’s achievement award winner was one of the nation’s most famous investment analysts, Gail Dudack ’70. A panelist on PBS-TV’s Wall Street Week, Dudack a year ago began forecasting a slump in the technology sector. At odds with the bullish outlook of most financial experts, she so challenged her colleagues that, after twenty-two years on the show, she was dropped.

     But risk-taking and life changes are no threat for Dudack. She told the Reunion audience that her admission to Skidmore was one of her earliest life-changing decisions. As a late admit with a scholarship offer, she had to accept or decline admission the very day she first visited campus. She made the quick choice, and now says it was an excellent decision for her. For one thing, as a star economics major she won the prestigious Wall Street Journal award, which came with a year’s subscription to the publication—her first introduction to Wall Street.

Officers and awardees: alumni board member Jacqueline Jung ’61, President Jamienne S. Studley, Lee Peyser ’81, reunion chair Amy O’Leary ’92, Prof. Mary C. Lynn, Marge Boutilier ’46, Gail Dudack ’70, alumni president Beverly Harrison Miller ’67, and reunion giving chair Sibyl Waterman Haley ’71

     For the next two decades, at a time when women were scarce on Wall Street, Dudack became an acknowledged expert in investment research, technical analysis, fiscal forecasting, and market strategy. At S. G. Warburg and UBS Securities, her clients included American Express and the government of Singapore. On Wall Street Week she often appeared with heavyweights such as Fed chair Alan Greenspan, and her opinions were carried in Barrons, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

     A merger recently resulted in the loss of her UBS job, but Dudack says, “I am a great believer that change is a catalyst for creativity and success.” In looking forward to the next phase of her career, she underscored the importance of “having the courage to speak out against the bandwagon mentality. It was a child who spoke up in The Emperor’s New Clothes, and we all need to seek out that child in us.”

Outstanding Service Awards

     Marjorie Boutilier ’46 began a lifelong habit of community activity when she was a student, serving on college committees, as dorm officer, and as a “big sister”; she also sang in the chorus and held down a work-study job. During, and after, her secretarial and administrative career with General Electric, Boutilier continued serving Skidmore— as club officer, class fund chair, reunion committee member, and FOP chair. She also facilitated the growth of the Class of 1946 Scholarship Fund, using the matching-gift program at GE. Boutilier, who lives in Stratford, Conn., says it’s been “extremely gratifying, as a scholarship recipient during my college years, to be able to give back, financially and as a volunteer, to help future students benefit, as I did, from a great Skidmore education.”

     An elementary school teacher and then mother of two, Barbara McIlveen Baldwin ’61 volunteered for Skidmore’s Wide Horizons Campaign and Celebration Campaign and served the Friends of the Presidents. In 1994 she became a Skidmore trustee. An early leader of her class’s hugely successful fortieth-reunion fundraising effort in memory of Frances Young Tang ’61, Baldwin’s donations have helped build Scribner Library, the Tang Museum, and the David M. and Barbara McIlveen Baldwin ’61 Scholarship. An eager and active alumna in Short Hills, N.J., she says, “My passion and gratitude for my Skidmore education continue to grow, and I cherish the opportunity to stay connected.”

     Susan Law Dake ’71, director of public affairs for Stewart’s Shops, supports many Saratoga-area organizations as well as Skidmore. Dake has served as chair of the annual polo benefit luncheon and spearheaded regional campaigns for annual giving and the Journey Campaign; and she donates her time and expertise to Skidmore’s advancement initiatives. With husband William, a Skidmore trustee, she has boosted scholarship funds and key projects. The recipient of numerous awards for her community service, Dake observes,“The personal satisfaction of volunteer work is immeasurable. It is a triple win that my community work benefits the Skidmore community as well.”

     Leland Peyser ’81 got his first taste of Skidmore as a high school senior who joined in a lacrosse game while visiting campus. A sportsman and student leader, he became president of the College Government Association. After graduation, he was an admissions contact, a host for the “Wall Street Walk” career program, an annual giving volunteer, and host for events at his workplace, Credit Suisse First Boston. Having met his wife in Saratoga, Peyser says Skidmore is part of his life: “Skidmore exists beyond Saratoga Springs. It lives in my hometown, at my workplace, on and off the lacrosse field where I play and coach. There are so many events and people in my life that end up connecting back to Skidmore.”

     Mary C. Lynn’s Skidmore career began in 1969, when she arrived on campus as a young professor and “fell in love with the place.” With a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, she became a published scholar in American studies (four times in collaboration with faculty colleague Helga Doblin), a popular interdisciplinary teacher, and a respected voice in faculty governance and curriculum development. She has spoken regularly to alumni groups on issues from women’s history to the Skidmore College Archives. A Skidmore Chorus singer, she is the mother of Kate ’02. Perhaps the most tangible evidence of Lynn’s expertise and love of the college is her comprehensive Skidmore history, Make No Small Plans, published last year. Writing the book, she says, “renewed my love and dedication for Skidmore.”—MM

 


© 2001 Skidmore College