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Summer 2003

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Good chemistry marks awards ceremony

At Reunion, the alumni association honored six Skidmorites:
Biochemist Pat Harran ’90 visits with faculty mentor Ray Giguere.

Distinguished Achievement Award
     As an undergrad biochemist Patrick Harran ’90 took part in intensive collaborative projects with chemistry professor Raymond Giguere. After earning a Ph.D. at Yale and holding a National Institutes of Health–sponsored fellowship at Stanford, Harran accepted “the opportunity of a lifetime” to work at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
     In 2001 Harran’s lab won national recognition for the synthesis and structural reassignment of diazonamide A, a marine product with anticancer properties. When Harran and colleagues synthesized the substance, they found that its original description had been flawed. A few months later they deciphered the true structure of natural diazonamide A. Their achievements set off quite a buzz in the biochemistry community, which lauded their “beautiful synthetic work” and “impressive bit of analysis.” In 2002 Harran was one of two national winners of the Excellence in Chemistry Award given by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.
     Says Harran, “I’m a little surprised that our first work was received so well. I really feel like we’re just getting started and the best is yet to come. There are so many things we want to do and so many opportunities.”

Outstanding Service Award
     Despite living on the West Coast, Vincent Catalano ’83 has remained ever-present as an alumni volunteer. A scholarship student from Manhattan’s Lower East Side, he majored in chemistry and built his career in marketing and sales for high-tech firms. His alumni service, he says, is “my way of paying Skidmore back for what it has given me.” Currently an insurance broker in Sacramento, Catalano serves on the alumni board and has worked in class fundraising, regional clubs, and alumni admissions. “The best part,” he says, “has been developing so many great relationships over the years. I encourage all alumni to get involved: do at least one thing for Skidmore each year.”
     A psychology major, Elizabeth Hauser ’53 immersed herself in campus life—swimming and tennis, the yearbook, volunteering for Big Sisters—creating lifelong relationships that still resonate even after her death in 2002. While building a remarkable thirty-five-year career at IBM (rising from receptionist to business consultant), Hauser served Skidmore as class fund chair, class secretary, and reunion-giving leader. Reflects Susanne Eustis Bogart ’53, who followed Betty as class secretary, “She did the job with such brilliance and dedication for so many years.” Hauser’s grandniece attended the Skidmore ceremony to accept the award in her name.
     Owner of the popular Saratoga restaurants Longfellows and the Olde Bryan Inn, Stephen Sullivan ’78 is a longtime—and much honored—civic volunteer. He is best known for hosting free Thanksgiving meals for the area’s needy and donating food and beverages for anti-hunger fundraising events. As an alumnus, his service has included co-chairing the annual polo event that benefits the Palamountain Scholarship Fund. “I’m fortunate,” Sullivan has said, “that Skidmore took a chance on me. It has made all the difference.”
     A psychology major, Jeanne Shipp Waldinger ’68 has worked in college admissions, high-tech sales, and management consulting. With the same love of varied challenges, she has volunteered for Skidmore as an alumni board member, fundraising leader, reunion chair, class historian, admissions contact, and class president. She notes, “I am grateful that I have been able to make meaningful contributions as a volunteer—especially to Skidmore, a vibrant and innovative educational community.” She urged the Reunion crowd to join her in volunteering, “to get to know a great group of alumni, faculty, and staff.”
     When Prof. Timothy Brown arrived as athletics director in 1980, he set to work transforming a handful of sports clubs, one basketball court, and two office trailers into a thriving NCAA program with nineteen varsity teams, a large sports center, and other facilities. But perhaps Brown’s greatest success has come as golf coach, leading his team to seventeen appearances at Division III national championships. He was named national Coach of the Year in 1994 and 1996. Although he has stepped down as AD, Brown continues as golf coach and professor of exercise science. He said Skidmore is all about “excellence and family,” and added, “I’m proud of being part of this family for twenty-three years.” —MM, SR

 


© 2003 Skidmore College