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Skidmore College

Alumni help boost aid fund

August 2, 2017
Event co-chairs Mopsik and Soukup
Event co-chairs Mopsik and Soukup

More than 20 students will be receiving financial aid this fall in the form of Palamountain Scholarships. In its 38 years, Palamountain funds have helped more than 350 students who otherwise couldn't afford a Skidmore education. And last month, at the polo-themed Palamountain gala [view photos], another $280,000 was raised ensuring more aid for more students forever.

Young alumni C. Jerome Mopsik '06 and Emily Carnevale Mopsik '07 have helped organize several past Palamountain events. For Jerome, "Polo by Twilight is more than a summer benefit party: as a student, I was a recipient of the Palamountain Scholarship." Jerome co-chaired for two years, this year with Judy Soukup, an assistant in Skidmore's MDOCS department, and last year with wife Emily '07. Jerome is the first Palamountain Scholar to chair the benefit.

Gourmet fare is a hallmark of the event.
Gourmet fare is a hallmark of the event.

Mopsik says Polo by Twilight offers "an opportunity to support scholarships, watch an exciting polo match, chat with friends over a cocktail and connect with new people, not to mention enjoying the sumptuous feast prepared by Skidmore's award-winning dining services." This year's auction sold off such plums as a day with top Saratoga racehorse-trainer Chad Brown, tickets and a backstage pass to Hello, Dolly!, a week in a home in St. John, Virgin Islands, a week in a Nantucket cottage and part ownership of a thoroughbred racehorse.

Auction bidders get busy for the good cause.
Auction bidders get busy for the good cause.

There were also remarks from attorney Amy Bergstraesser '11, who was given the 2017 Anne T. Palamountain Scholar Award for leadership, service and commitment to the larger good. As a student she interned with the US Congress, in law school she volunteered in immigration matters, and as a lawyer she has spent weekends providing free advice. Now she's an international-law fellow with Indiana University's general counsel. Bergstraesser says her Palamountain-supported Skidmore education "laid the groundwork for each exciting opportunity I have had." If it weren't for peer and faculty mentors, studies and work abroad "and the constant support I still get each day from the lifelong friends I made at Skidmore," she says, "I would not be where I am today."

Amy Bergstraesser, flanked by faculty mentors Grace Burton and Ron Seyb
Amy Bergstraesser, flanked by faculty mentors Grace Burton and
Ron Seyb

All proceeds from Polo by Twilight go to the Joseph C. and Anne T. Palamountain Scholarship Fund, named for Skidmore's fourth president and his wife. Under Anne's leadership for 35 years, until her death in 2015, and with thousands of donors honoring her and Joe with their contributions, the fund now stands at nearly $10 million.

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