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Summer 2002

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Six alumni honored

Barbara Underhill Collyer ’52, Florence Andresen ’57, Patricia Fox Sacks ’62, Vincent Catalano ’83 (awards committee chair), President Jamienne S. Studley, Sue Corbet Thomas ’62, Judy Goldstein Landman ’82, Beverly Harrison Miller ’67 (alumni president)
    During Reunion, the Distinguished Achievement Award was bestowed on breast-cancer radiologist Patricia Fox Sacks ’62, founder and director of the Polak Breast Diagnostic Center at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, Calif. Sacks has participated in National Cancer Institute trials of cancer drugs, taught in American Cancer Society medical education courses, and lectured in informational videos—one of which, After the Diagnosis, won a national award in 1999. That same year, she was named Woman of the Year by the City of Torrance.
    Sacks told the alumni audience how well her Skidmore experience had prepared her for medical school (she was one of just six women to receive an M.D. from Tufts in 1966), professional life, parenthood, and citizenship. She said, “Relationships are one of the most important things in life, and mine at Skidmore were so valuable. I only regret that I didn’t reconnect with Skidmore sooner—it feels absolutely wonderful.”
    The ceremony then turned to the Outstanding Service Award winners. A former Long Island school-district superintendent and a patron of education there and in Saratoga Springs, Florence Andresen ’57 quoted H. G. Wells: “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” An energetic and productive Skidmore fundraising leader and trustee, Andresen urged her fellow alumni to support their alma mater because “Skidmore, this nation, this world cannot afford to lose that race.”
Susan Gottlieb Beckerman ’67
    Trustee Susan Gottlieb Beckerman ’67, a scholarship recipient who vowed to return the favor one day, went on to an M.B.A. and a career in finance and real estate. For Skidmore, she has helped underwrite the Student Opportunity Fund, is active on the trustees’ Student Life Committee, assisted this year’s seniors with their class gift program, and supports Jewish life and studies. Beckerman, who received her award at April’s Volunteer Weekend, said, “Skidmore is a unique place….I am proud of the growth and recognition it is experiencing now.”
    Recalling her student days, Barbara Underhill Collyer ’52 quipped, “I was like a Dumpster—I learned so many things here (some I probably shouldn’t have)!” The PE major went on to earn a master’s and taught at summer camps and universities; she is still an avid sportswoman. A supporter of scholarships, planned giving, and other causes at Skidmore, Collyer says, “I spent four years learning to be an adult and not giving back a thing. For me, volunteering gave me a chance to give back and to continue loving Skidmore.”
    Judith Goldstein Landman ’82, says, “It never occurred to me not to volunteer for Skidmore.” Her work in magazine production and alumni affairs no doubt helped her in organizing successful Skidmore phonathons in New York City; she has also been class fund chair and class president. While it’s “important to give back to a place that has given me so much,” she told the audience, “Skidmore didn’t just contribute to my past, but it contributes to my present and future too.”
    Suzanne Corbet Thomas ’62, a sociology major with an M.S.W., is a volunteer leader for a wide range of schools and organizations—Skidmore not least among them. An active and effective fundraiser and trustee, she helped lead Skidmore’s Celebration and Journey campaigns and other key initiatives. She wants to ensure that “the Skidmore experiences I was so privileged to enjoy…remain available to the next generation.” And, she confessed, “It’s true that my children know the ‘Alma Mater’ by heart; I sang it to them as a lullabye. Skidmore is in my blood!” —SR

 


© 2002 Skidmore College