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Skidmore College

McGraw named chair-elect of Board of Trustees

March 4, 2016
W. Scott McGraw
W. Scott McGraw

On Feb. 25 the Skidmore College Board of Trustees unanimously approved the appointment of Skidmore parent W. Scott McGraw as its chair-elect. He will succeed Linda Toohey, who is stepping down in May after serving 15 years as a trustee and the past four years as chair.

McGraw, a private investor and consultant, worked for 29 years in television advertising. Most recently he was executive vice president and general manager of national advertising sales for the Discovery Networks. Prior to that, he worked for 22 years at The CBS Television Network, where his positions included executive vice president of sales and marketing for CBS Sports. In addition to those responsibilities, he also oversaw all national advertising sales for the CBS offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Detroit. McGraw began his career at Young and Rubicam in New York City, after earning a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from the University of Denver.

Active behind the scenes on Broadway, he was involved in the production of Lombardi and was a producer of Magic/Bird. He is also the founding investor of One River School of Art and Design in Englewood, N.J., which partners with leading New York City galleries and curators to offer educational experiences for all ages. In addition, McGraw chairs the board of the Adirondack Health Foundation.

His wife, Cathy, is also a former TV advertising executive. Their daughter Carolyn is a Skidmore art major who graduated in 2012; she is married to Maxwell Walker, a 2013 graduate in history and computer science.

Scott and Cathy McGraw served on the Parents Council for all four years that Carolyn was a student, and they chaired both the Class of 2012 Parents Fund and the Annual Parents Fund. Scott joined the Skidmore Board of Trustees in 2011, serving as chair of the investment committee and vice chair of the advancement committee and also sharing his expertise on the board’s executive, budget and finance, and strategic planning committees. The couple lives in Hobe Sound, Fla.

During her tenure as chair, Linda Toohey oversaw the streamlining of the board’s committee structure and focused the board’s attention on such key issues as student access, diversity and inclusion, sexual misconduct, campus sustainability, infrastructure, and marketing. She also played an important role in the development of the new strategic plan, Creating Pathways to Excellence: The Plan for Skidmore College 2015–25.

Toohey calls McGraw “a strong voice for the value of a liberal arts education. A respected leader in business and on nonprofit boards, he is smart, strategic, and collaborative, which makes him the perfect choice as Skidmore’s next board chair.”

McGraw says, “Given the complex and multifaceted problems facing our world today, I can think of few institutions better positioned than Skidmore to prepare students to flourish and succeed as productive citizens.” He adds that his daughter’s experience proved “Skidmore really is a place where creative thought matters,” and he declares, “I am deeply honored to be a part of continuing this tradition.”

Campaign leadership changes

The board changes are linked to fundraising campaign changes that were also approved at the February meeting.

Outgoing board chair Linda Toohey has agreed to remain a member of the executive committee for Creating Our Future: The Campaign for Skidmore. As Skidmore’s president, Philip A. Glotzbach, remarked when Toohey first joined the campaign, “Linda’s experience in the world of fundraising and her knowledge of the College and its mission have been tremendous assets.”

Incoming board chair Scott McGraw, who has been co-chair of the Creating Our Future Campaign since 2014, will cede that post while remaining an ex-officio member of the Campaign Executive Committee. CEC member and longtime fundraising volunteer Tom Wilmot ’99 has been named to join continuing co-chair Nancy Hamilton ’77 as a new campaign co-chair.

Glotzbach explains, “These changes will allow us to sustain and extend the considerable momentum we’ve generated over the past three years and will serve us well as we push forward into the second half of the campaign. I look forward to continuing our work together, and I thank all these leaders for their effort, generosity, and passion for Skidmore.”

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