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Connections | Reunion Photo Gallery | Honoring the art of can-do | Getting personal with Scholarships
Meet the Friends of the President...
| Real-estate trusts | 2003-04 Giving | Top of the class
Club do's

 

Honoring the art of can-do

Six alumni were recognized at Reunion for their outstanding career and volunteer successes.

DistinguishedAchievement Award
After earning her art degree and teaching art, Molley Brister Haley ’64 joined with a business partner to form Marblehead Handprints Inc. From designing specialty printed fabrics and a few products for a small store, the company expanded into clothing and home products. Within twenty years it was distributing to Saks Fifth Avenue, Jordan Marsh, and a score of its own retail stores, as well as designing for Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the New York City Ballet, and other clients.

In 1993 the partners closed the business, while retaining the rights to their designs. Now living in Washington, D.C., Haley got more involved in helping other women start and manage their own businesses: she ran training and counseling programs at the American Woman’s Economic Development Corporation and helped launch the Women’s Business Center in Washington. She was named WBC’s 1997 Woman of the Year and the Small Business Administration’s 1998 Women in Business Advocate of the Year. With a master’s in art therapy, she also volunteered at psychiatric hospitals, women’s shelters, and welfare-to-work programs.

Haley told the Reunion crowd that her innate “why-not attitude” gained strength and confidence at Skidmore. “What I learned at Skidmore afforded me the luxury of being my own boss,” she said, and added, “Success is measured by what you’ve done with what you’ve learned.”

Outstanding Service Award
As a student Michael Burke ’84 led his senior-class giving drive. Financial aid had opened the door to Skidmore, where “I couldn’t have asked for better classmates and friends,” he says. He became a class agent in 1985 and went on to diversify and deepen his volunteer work—sitting on reunion-giving, Friends of the Presidents, and alumni awards committees, and spearheading the creation of new awards for young alumni. Beginning in 1997 he served a term as president of the alumni association’s board of directors. A lawyer in New York City, he says, Skidmore is “a tremendous cause to work for, with wonderful people to share the effort.”

Lynne Tower Combs ’64, a former mayor and administrator in New Jersey’s Passaic Township, doesn’t mind juggling careers to volunteer for Skidmore. A class fund chair, she has also served on the FOP and alumni awards committees. A business major who studied many other disciplines as well, Combs told the audience that Skidmore provided her with “friendships that supported me, a call to service, and an education that challenged me.” She remains dedicated to the college because “I want others to have the same opportunities” and “I’m extremely proud of the college’s growth.”
Wendy Bailey Hamilton ’74 has been a class president, fund chair, and reunion planner and served on the national annual-fund advisory committee. “I wish more people knew how much fun it is and would volunteer” for Skidmore, she says. In accepting the award, she protested that “it’s embarrassing to stand up here by myself, when so many wonderful class agents and others have made such a group effort.” Hamilton has also been an active community volunteer for school, museum, and theater initiatives, as well as Habitat for Humanity.

Patricia Kennedy Snyderman ’54 is often called the “go-to lady” among Skidmore alumni in New York. Former president of the Westchester club and an active member of the New York City club, she has organized faculty lectures, ballet and opera outings, and museum tours like a pro—which she is, as a director in the conference division of Institutional Investor magazine. As a student Snyderman thrived in the close-knit campus community; she says, “Ever since I graduated I have had a love for Skidmore and wanted to pay it back for those four wonderful years.”

Wendy Bailey Hamilton ’74 has been a class president, fund chair, and reunion planner and served on the national annual-fund advisory committee. “I wish more people knew how much fun it is and would volunteer” for Skidmore, she says. In accepting the award, she protested that “it’s embarrassing to stand up here by myself, when so many wonderful class agents and others have made such a group effort.” Hamilton has also been an active community volunteer for school, museum, and theater initiatives, as well as Habitat for Humanity.

A professor of education at the University of Southern California, Kim West ’79 still has strong connections to Skidmore. A class secretary and class agent, she has also served on the reunion-giving advisory committee and the alumni board. Recalling her Skidmore professors in history and American studies, West cites “their influence on my academic future”—a PhD in higher-ed policy and planning—and “their patience, kindness, and wisdom as advisors.” She told the audience that she volunteers for Skidmore because “I want our kids and grandkids to be able to come here too.”
—SR