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Winter 2004

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"Relish and respect"

Community ties highlighted at inauguration and centennial events

Declaring himself “supremely optimistic” about Skidmore’s future, President Philip Glotzbach also saluted Skidmore’s heritage in his inaugural address in October. Headlining a weekend packed with centennial, family, and inauguration events, he said he took on the presidency “with relish and profound respect for the accomplishments of those who built Skidmore.”

 

Student reps join the inauguration procession.

He confessed to a “deep humility,” but noted that “what we can’t imagine doing individually we can do when we work together as a community.” And he shared an ambitious to-do list aimed at enhancing academic culture, diversity and global perspectives, interdisciplinary study, and the college’s resource base. Among the regalia-clad attendees applauding Glotzbach’s plans were some fifty past and present trustees and five of Skidmore’s six previous presidents or their surviving relatives. Add a crowd of faculty members, alumni from every era, and enthusiastic students (many of them hosting family visitors) all reveling in Skidmore’s history, and it’s no surprise that relish and respect lit up every corner of campus all weekend long.

The wide-ranging agenda offered pop performances by student clubs, a nature walk in the North Woods, recitals by music faculty and Filene scholars, a dance concert, a Brecht play, and minicollege classes on subjects like amorous poetry, ideas of apocalyptic violence, Shakespeare, eating disorders, Hubble Space Telescope research, and free speech in China. There were also two panel discussions, one in which academicians debated issues of creativity and the liberal arts, and another in which Skidmore alumni, emeritus professors, and others shared their views of the college’s past, present, and future.

Scribner Medals and Alumni Awards

Citing their “creative solutions to problems that have stymied other colleges and cities,” Suzanne Corbet Thomas ’62, chair of the trustees, bestowed the first-ever Lucy Skidmore Scribner Medals on the Dake and Wait families of Saratoga Springs.

The medal was created in honor of Skidmore’s centennial to celebrate “those qualities that reflect Lucy Skidmore Scribner’s founding vision: a selfless dedication to others, a capacity to imagine creative solutions to important problems and issues, and a deep commitment to fostering community.”
Skidmore's founder depicted in bronze on the Scribner Medal

    Donations from William Dake, CEO of Stewart’s ice-cream shops, and wife Susan Law Dake ’71, the firm’s public-affairs director, and from the Phyllis E. Dake Foundation, have aided nonprofits from Saratoga Hospital to Skidmore College. Bill Dake is a Skidmore trustee; Susan received Skidmore’s Outstanding Service Award in 2001; nephew Bradford Dake ’78 has contributed to Skidmore’s summer institutes; and Pernille Aegidius Dake, UWW ’96, MALS ’02, wife of late nephew Charles, has supported MALS and the Boys Choir of Harlem residency. The Dake family has also underwritten a student scholarship and service award.

In 1919 Adirondack Trust officer Newman Wait Sr. arranged for a large, risky loan that was essential for the Skidmore School of Arts. Newman’s brother Luther was a Skidmore trustee from 1922 to 1932, when Newman took over the position. In the 1970s, when Newman’s son Pete was bank president and college trustee, he provided President Joseph Palamountain with crucial aid not forthcoming from other banks. Pete died suddenly in 1983, and as a young Charles Wait stepped into the bank presidency, Palamountain offered welcome mentorship. Since then Charles, wife Candace, and mother Jane have supported a range of initiatives at Skidmore. Wait Hall, the green room in Bernhard Theater, and the Jane Adams Wait prize for Saratoga high-school students carry their name. (The day before he shared in the medal, the board also recognized Charles Wait’s eighteen years of board service with the Kemball-Cook Award.)

Cabaret Troupe performers in the musical Hair strut their stuff for weekend visitors.

Spencer Goldin ’93 received the Porter Award for Young Alumni Service. After fundraising for his senior-class gift program, Goldin continued as class fund chair and also organized club events for fellow New York City alumni (he’s currently a vice president at Cross Shore Capital Management). After he led his class in setting a new fifth-reunion giving record, he was named the alumni board’s chair of young alumni giving. A Friends of the Presidents leader, he’s proud of his Skidmore connections—including mother Ellen Rein Goldin ’61—and says, “I enjoy giving back to the school that helped shape the person I am today.” —SR
Editor's note: For more details and a photo gallery, visit "celebration weekend"


 


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