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Interconnections Student skipper, alumni leader
New views of acient art
Periclean awardee Heather Hurst '97
Celebration toasts campaign progress Creative thought, bold promise
Giving and getting Employees back the campaign
Club Connections New York Cares day

 

Celebration toasts campaign progress

From a bugle fanfare to the Alma Mater for soprano, music shaped the unfolding of a gala evening kicking off Skidmore’s “Creative Thought Bold Promise” campaign. The event drew more than 350 revelers to New York City’s Gotham Hall in celebration of the people and programs that the $200 million campaign will support.

In a special cameo appearance, Sam the bugler from the historic Saratoga racetrack sounded the call to dinner. Hosts John Howley ’80 and Wilma Stein Tisch ’48—on behalf of their fellow campaign co-chairs Sara Lee Lubin Schupf ’62 and Susan Kettering Williamson ’59—opened the festivities. A musical interlude showcased violinist Mugi Ayurzana ’09, a Filene Music Scholar from Mongolia; accompanying her solo rendition of Mongolian folk themes were dancers Maggie Stack ’09 (ballet) and Jessica Herring ’07 (modern). Nonmusical art and media also figured prominently. Along with an old-fashioned (but digitally high-tech) photo booth that inspired many a giggle and hug, the event featured large-scale video and still photo projections of students, alumni, and campus scenes.

Mary C. Lynn, the Douglas Family Professor of American Culture, outlined the college’s “Legacy and Leadership.” Three alumni described their “Passions”: Heather Hurst ’97, an archaeological illustrator who won a MacArthur grant for her masterful re-creations of ancient Mayan art; Felicia Axelrod ’62, a physician whose pioneering work in childhood dysautonomia has dramatically improved its care; and Gene Freidman ’92, a Russian immigrant and entrepreneur who introduced the first hybrid-fuel vehicles in the New York City taxi fleet. Skidmore’s “Promise” was discussed—and embodied—by alumni Ben Fox ’96, Christine Wright Hanley ’76 (also parent of an ’06 grad), and Wanda Swann Ibru ’79
(also parent ’08).

Suzanne Corbet Thomas ’62, who chairs Skidmore’s board, and President Philip Glotzbach thanked those who have fueled the campaign’s strong start. Glotzbach sparked big applause when he announced that commitments now totaled $121 million after just two and a half years. Citing the power of small actions to amplify into major effects, he stressed the importance of further individual acts of support for the creative passion and promise that defines Skidmore. The evening closed with a rendition of the Alma Mater sung by Sylvia Stoner ’94, a concert soprano (and a lecturer in Skidmore’s music department this year), with Professor Tom Denny on piano and Filene scholar Ayurzana on violin. —SR