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Arts on view
Celebration with a serious side
The forces of education were never as crucial as now. I would have you dare to believe with me that the power of the human spirit and mind to overcome ignorance and prejudice, hysteria and fear, is still the greatest adventure and the greatest need of mankind.”
|Felicia Gomez ’02 and Timnah Lee ’02 (second from left and far right), the first in their class to join FOP, pose with FOP chair Carol Strickland ’72, alumni president Beverly Harrison Miller ’67, and trustee Susan Gottlieb Beckerman ’67.
Spoken back in 1957 by Val Wilson, Skidmore’s third president, these words ring perhaps truer than ever today and set a fitting tone for Skidmore’s gala dinner in honor of its Friends of the Presidents donor society, held this fall in New York City. More than 150 of Skidmore’s strongest supporters saw direct evidence—in the students and faculty who joined the event—of how education can help transform the world.
Seven students performed selections from The Laramie Project, a play based on interviews with townspeople reacting to the hate-crime murder of gay student Matthew Shepherd in Laramie, Wyo., in 1998. “Ignorance” was the theme of the remarks by Thomas Lewis, Quadracci Professor of Social Responsibility, who told of his own quest for knowledge—for example, in his book and film projects on subjects from the Shakers to the U.S. highway system—and described how Skidmore students are grappling with difficult questions in the wake of the 9/11 terrorism. And President Jamienne S. Studley, noting that college scholarships are among the relief funding that has poured in for victims’ families, affirmed that access to higher education is central to Skidmore’s mission and a key to the American dream.