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Special dedication for a special benefactor
dedications of the Tang’s named spaces brought together a dazzling array of honorees and benefactors, but one sorely felt absence was Nathalie Potter Voorhees ’45. After a long battle with cancer, she had died two weeks before the museum’s opening—but not before an early dedication ceremony held just for her and her family.
|Nathalie Potter Voorhees ’45|
On September 30 husband Alan, children Susan and Scott, and several grandchildren gathered on campus to dedicate the Voorhees Wing of the main floor of the Tang in Nathalie’s honor. She was too ill to make the trip from Washington, D.C., herself, but she listened in to the ceremony by phone, and her family brought back photographs and a video later that same day. Earlier, when the Tang was still under construction, college representatives had visited the Voorheeses to show them floorplans, photos, and even a computerized “virtual” tour. The wing they chose to name contains two classrooms used for a variety of courses.
And their involvement with the Tang hasn’t stopped there. A transportation expert, Alan Voorhees has an extensive collection of old and rare maps, many of which will be displayed in an upcoming Tang exhibit exploring the notion of mapping. In addition to the Voorheeses’ major contribution to the building of the Tang, the family has endowed a fund in Nathalie’s name to support museum programs as well as scholarship aid.
As philanthropists the Voorheeses, who met while she was at Skidmore and he was at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, have supported colleges and universities, the Center for Excellence in Government, the Virginia Land Trust, and other causes.
Nathalie credits her Skidmore bachelor’s in Romance languages with landing her a U.S. State Department position in Berne, Switzerland, from 1945 to 1947. And in September it was Skidmore that formally credited the Voorhees family with helping to enhance the college’s arts and interdisciplinary resources. You might say the Skidmore Voorhees dedication was mutual. —SR