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Arts on view
Meet the Friends of the Presidents
Established in 1966, the Friends of the Presidents Society recognizes the colleges most generous donors, who set an example of leadership in annual giving (the gift level for membership is $2,000, with a sliding scale of lower levels for the most recent classes).
Mary Lyman Heist 53 comes from a family where tradition matters, and one of the traditions she values most is giving back to the community.
After graduation, Heistwho remains grateful for the scholarship that allowed her to complete her Skidmore educationworked as a public health nurse for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and the Navy Relief Society. She has long served the college as a class agent, club volunteer, and Friend of the Presidents. In the 1990s she chaired a $1.4 million capital campaign for Hill House, a low-income housing project for the elderly in Riverside, Conn. A Red Cross nurse, she serves on the boards of Hill House, the Youth Conservation Committee of Greenwich, and the Greenwich Symphony Guild.
Heist shared a commitment to supporting higher education with her late husband, L. Clark Whitey Heist, and daughter Jane Gamber continues the family tradition as a trustee of Northfield-Mount Herman School in Massachusetts, where she oversees the Whitey and Mary Heist Endowment Fund for Scholarship.
Heist saw her 50th reunion as an opportunity to acknowledge her Skidmore roots at a deeper level. She rallied fellow 53 nursing majors to come back to campus to celebrate their participation in Skidmores nursing program. She helped coordinate a photographic display of the programs history and arranged a reception at the home of Judith McEndy Lynch 53.
She also deepened her commitment to the Friends of the Presidents society by stepping up to the Charles Keyes Associates gift level. Heist believes that alumni support will help the college build on its unique strengths and develop new areas of distinction.
Says Heist, I want students today to have the opportunities at Skidmore that I hadnot only in preparing me for a career but in developing lifelong interests that have enriched my whole life. Others before me gave to Skidmore, enabling me to have a fine education. Its up to me to do this for the students of the future. MM