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connections

Reunion 2006 A photo album
Standouts
Alumni award winners
Walk of fame Seniors' parents pave the way
In their own words Alumni reminisce--on camera
Sowing solace Deer-proofing the Alumni Memorial Garden

 

Standouts


It’s hard to pick alumni who stand out from the crowd, said Judy Roberts Kunisch ’69, because “Skidmore grads all stand out!” But her awards committee appointed just six alumni and a staff member for honors at Reunion.

Distinguished Achievement
Linny Oberkotter Fowler ’61 told the Reunion crowd, “Skidmore courses in humanities, and discussions in an interfaith group, whetted my appetite, but it’s never too late to get involved in helping others.”

As a young mother in the 1960s, she started a nursery school for underprivileged kids. Later she volunteered for Head Start. Founder of the Lehigh Valley (Pa.) Coalition for Kids, she’s served on the boards of several youth-services groups and supported scores more. As an officer of ArtsQuest, she is working to transform an old steel mill into a performing-arts center. She and her husband foster art enrichment in the schools through Banana Factory, where she teaches and runs a stained-glass studio. With their support, admission to the Allentown Art Museum is free on Sundays, Linny’s Kids scholarships help students attend the Baum School of Art, and the Linny Fowler WillPower Tour brings Shakespeare into area schools each year. Among her many honors, she has won the Governor’s Patron Award, given to one person annually for support of the arts in Pennsylvania.

Her aid to Skidmore has included endowing a scholarship in honor of her parents. A few hours after she received her alumni award at Reunion, the Dana Science Center’s atrium was dedicated in her name.

Outstanding Service
Justin Model ’91 has been a leader in the New York City club, class fundraising, the alumni board, and especially career networking. The winner of Skidmore’s 1998 Porter Award for volunteerism, he went on to spearhead an alumni lawyer networking event and help establish the alumni-student mentoring program called Alumni Back to Campus. A marketing director for Accenture, Model said with all he learned from Skidmore faculty and then-President David Porter, “the college has given me more than I can give back.”

Liz King Farrell ’81,a restaurateur and home-accessories entrepreneur as well as a volunteer for several New York City groups, always finds time for Skidmore. She has served on Alumni Leadership Council, planned fundraising events, and been class agent and president; this year she chaired her class’s twenty-fifth reunion. She cited Skidmore art classes for helping her in her catering, cooking, and design career and said, “I’m blessed to be part of the Skidmore family.”

Sybil Haley Waterman ’71 works for Maine Medical Center and US Senator Olympia Snowe—and for Skidmore admissions, reunions, the alumni board, her class, and Friends of the Presidents. At Reunion she regaled the crowd with the ten ways that “creative thought matters in my Skidmore career,” including art faculty who took her seriously; dormmates who brought home a fetal pig cadaver for biology practice but, fearing detection, pitched it into a Congress Park pond; and her nonagenarian mother, who still donates to the Parents Fund.

Pam White Leighton ’61 is committed to education, and to the college that got her started in the field. A club officer, class president, and reunion-giving leader, she has also served on Parents Council. She has funded student scholarships, and this year she helped her class underwrite a five-year professorship. Accepting her award “with honor and happiness,” she quoted from Winston Churchill: “You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.”

Barbara Levine Friedland ’56 was helping to plan Reunion last year when she died unexpectedly. A theater major, she used her training and creativity to run Second Helpings, her party and catering business, for twenty-five years. For Skidmore, she was a longtime fundraising, reunion, and class leader. Son Jim Friedland ’86, accepting the award on her behalf, said, “Skidmore played a big role in my family. We used to joke about my mom’s varied careers thanks to her liberal-arts education. Great stories unfold here.”

Honorary Alumnus
Joining the Skidmore staff in 1972, Allan Crocker helped launch one of the first Parents Councils, and build one of the best Parents Funds, in the country. Over the next twenty-seven years, as a satisfied dad himself (three of his four children went to Skidmore, and the other married a Skiddie), he eloquently communicated Skidmore’s virtues to many generations of parents. In accepting his class ring, he said, “I’m really proud of what’s been accomplished at Skidmore over the years I’ve been part of it.” —MM, SR