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Who, What, When
Arts on view
boosters save program, bolster athletics
a fast game. It was September 17 when Skidmore officials announced
the elimination of varsity ice hockey, a victim of the budget ax;
by November 17 they announced its salvation thanks to a quickly
organized surge of fundraising by alumni, parents, and friends.
The September announcement outlined a restructuring of sports and
recreation offerings across the board. To better balance men’s
and women’s athletics, extra resources will go to the women’s
soccer, tennis, volleyball, softball, and lacrosse teams—in
some cases upgrading half-time coaching positions to full-time.
Team founded: 1978
Coach: Paul Dion, since 1982
League: ECAC East since 1998;earlier, ECAC South
League championships won: 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
Home ice: Saratoga Springs Ice Rink, since 1993; earlier, Saratoga’s old “ice palace” and other venues from Glens Falls to Troy
Reigning top scorer: Joe Doldo ’96 (career: 86 goals, 130 assists)
Reigning goals champ: Rich Hiller ’92 (career: 88; in a season: 39)
Posture of Skidmore fans during play: standing
In addition, offerings will beexpanded in areas like aerobics,
yoga, and weight-training for all members of the campus community.
As a way to foot those bills, the plan called for ending men’s
ice hockey—at $125,000 per year, one of Skidmore’s most
expensive sports programs—after this winter season.
“In my heart,” said President Philip Glotzbach in the
Albany Times Union, “I didn’t like the idea of eliminating
any sports.” But he pointed to a recent comprehensive study
that warned that Skidmore athletics, stretched too thin, may need
cuts in some areas in order to properly support others.
When the news hit, hockey alumni fired e-mails back and forth, and
soon www.saveskidmorehockey.com was lining up petition signatures
and encouraging donations. Told the program would need an endowment
of about $3 million to generate sufficient annual revenues, the
boosters never blinked. By mid-November, they’d made $2.5
million worth of gifts and pledges. (They’d also made quite
an impression on administrators and trustees with their passion,
dedication, and civility.)
The college will use the funds to cover current athletics operating
costs (including for hockey), start an athletics endowment, and
revive a Friends of Skidmore Athletics group to continue raising
funds and support. Glotzbach said, “This outpouring of support
has been very heartening.”
The campaign was led by alumni hockey players from the 1980s and
’90s and by Jim Ricker, father of three ’90s-era players.
Noting the close camaraderie among Skidmore hockey players and families,
Ricker told the Times Union, “We’ve made a lot of good
friends with [my sons’] friends.… These are lasting