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Skidmore College
Office of Advancement

University Without Walls (UWW) Scholarship Fund redesignation

From 1971 through 2011, Skidmore College operated its groundbreaking University Without Walls (UWW) program as a special program under its Office of the Dean of Special Programs (now the Department of Special Programs), offering customized educational programs combining traditional college classes, independent tutorials, online learning (toward the end of its existence) and other academic work. The College received many charitable gifts in support of the UWW program, including gifts to its University Without Walls Scholarship Fund (the “Scholarship Fund”), which provided scholarship support to students in the UWW program. Although the UWW program thrived for several decades, in or around 2009 in the face of budget deficits, a sharply declining economic landscape and an increasingly competitive market, as well as heightened demands on College faculty for teaching, advising and scholarship in the College’s traditional residential program, the College concluded that closing the UWW program was in the College’s best interest and began its closure process.

Given the closure of the UWW program, the use of the Scholarship Fund to support students in the UWW program is no longer possible. However, under New York state law, when the original purposes for which funds are donated become impossible to achieve, those purposes can be modified in a manner consistent with original intent by the New York state courts. The UWW program represents just one part of Skidmore’s long history of special programs which have been administered under the Department of Special Programs. The College has experimented with a wide variety of special programs, each following its own trajectory. The College’s special programs have included, among others and in addition to the UWW program, the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, the New York State Summer Writers Institute, Skidmore Jazz Institute, and the SITI Theater Workshop. Donors have been attracted to contribute to the College in support of programs administered by the Department of Special Programs because of the unique character and creativity that such programs embody.

Accordingly, the College has asked the New York State Supreme Court for the County of Saratoga to approve a modification of the purposes of the Scholarship Fund so the fund can be used to provide scholarship support for students enrolled in its programs administered by the Department of Special Programs, or any programs of like character.

If you have donated to the Scholarship Fund and would like to be heard regarding this requested modification, you may send a letter to: Lori Eastman, Associate Vice President for Advancement and Campaign Director, Skidmore College, 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-1632 or an email to leastman@skidmore.edu. Copies of letters or email received by the College will be provided to the Court. You may also make a formal filing in the legal proceeding entitled Matter of the Modification of Endowment Funds of Skidmore College, Saratoga County Index No. EF2021859. In order for your submission to be available for the Court’s consideration, please be sure to send any letter or email, or make any filing, by Friday, May 14, 2021.