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Arts on view
Join friends of the presidents!
Established in 1966, the Friends of the Presidents Society 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). Meet a new alumna who joined up before she even left campus:
Janine Geller ’01 never felt comfortable on the sidelines. During her junior and senior years at Skidmore, the chemistry-biology major filled her “nonlab hours” by serving as Student Govern-ment Association vice president for communications, chair of the Election Committee, and co-chair of the Integrity Board. She was also active in Bacchus and Gamma, a peer health-education network. “It was most definitely a challenge,” she admits, “being so heavily involved and still keeping up with the academic work. But I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
As a senior, Geller became class treasurer and was appointed SGA’s representative to Skidmore’s alumni board. Board member Carol Strickland ’72, chair of the Friends of the President Committee, was eager to make FOP accessible to young alumni, so she spearheaded a move to let graduating seniors join with just a $50 gift. For Geller, serving as a class ambassador for Senior Gift 2001, that offer was too good to refuse.
For seniors and new graduates who were leaders in campus life, FOP membership is a way to continue playing an influential role at the college. For others, there’s a novelty to joining a program traditionally associated with older alumni and higher-level philanthropy. One allure for Geller was the annual gala FOP dinner in New York City. “I had heard such wonderful things about it, that I drove down from Boston to be there. And it was in fact a great evening spent with wonderful people.”
While pounding the Boston pavement last summer, Geller shared job-hunting stories with many of her classmates, and in August the ArQule drug-development firm hired her as a research scientist. At the same time, her strong Skidmore ties also won her the post of class secretary; she’s also her class fund chair. “Participation is very important to me,” Geller says, “because I want to stay connected with the people and places that most influenced my life.”—MM