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Meet the Friends of the President...
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Meet the friends of the Presidents
Established in 1966, the Friends of the PresidentsSociety recognizes the college’s 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).

Joyce Benedict Ricker ’69 and husband Jim have created a unique Skidmore legacy. Not only are their three sons (Jason ’91, Justin ’96, and Evan ’97) and two daughters-in-law (Lisa Goldberg Ricker ’91 and Francesca Arcaro Ricker ’96) Skidmore alumni, but the couple, through their consistent and integral supporter for key college initiatives, continue to build the college’s future—one that Joyce is “already dreaming” will include her grandchildren.
The Concord, Mass., residents cheered on sons during countless Thoroughbred ice-hockey games and established close and enduring relationships with other players and their parents. Active participants in the college’s strategic planning process, the Rickers joined Skidmore’s Parents Council during daughter Autumn’s freshman year in 1999. (Although Autumn transferred to the University of New Hampshire, Joyce and Jim continue to serve on the council.)

Last September, when budget constraints forced the elimination of Skidmore’s varsity hockey team, the Rickers volunteered to notify the parents of other alumni players. Their conversations laid the groundwork for an unprecedented grassroots fundraising effort—which led to the reinstatement of men’s hockey and the reinvigoration of the Friends of Skidmore Athletics. The Rickers now serve on the FOSA advisory committee.

The couple also lends expertise to Skidmore’s business advisory council, helping facilitate interaction between business students and real-world executives and entrepreneurs. Retired from a career in commercial real-estate management with Trammel Crow Corporation, Jim remains active as a consultant. Joyce, a sociology major, earned a master’s in nursing from Yale in 1983 and practiced as a midwife until 1991, when she switched careers and opened an antiques business (one of her specialties is college china).

Joyce served as class agent and class historian for her 35th reunion in June. And in April she spent an afternoon arranging 1960s Skidmore memorabilia for a display at Colton Alumni Welcome Center.

Longtime leading supporters in the Friends of the Presidents, Joyce and Jim increased their giving this year to the Centennial Associates level, honoring her 35th reunion and their commitment to the athletics program that so enriched their sons’ college experience. —MM