Skidmore History

WilsonVal H. Wilson

Val H. Wilson became Skidmore's third president in 1957. He concentrated on strengthening the faculty and academic programs, initiated inroads in the creation of interdepartmental offerings, and encouraged more and more students to enter graduate school.

Under Dr. Wilson, Skidmore's growth strained its campus at the seams. Enrollment had risen to 1,300, and many of the turn-of-the-century buildings were growing obsolete, requiring increased maintenance and renovation. The adequacy of the physical plant also was threatened by the loss of 50 acres of athletic fields to a new superhighway as Interstate 87 worked its way northward.

It was at this critical time in Skidmore's history that the board of trustees decided to build a completely new campus on a 650-acre tract on North Broadway.

By the time his tenure was cut short by his sudden death in 1964, Dr. Wilson saw construction begin on the Lucy Scribner Library and on the first residential and dining complex.

Wilson Chapel, on the edge of North Woods, is named for him.

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