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Skidmore College

Photo essay: A history of food at Skidmore

May 21, 2019
by James Helicke

The study of food and the dining services offered at Skidmore have evolved throughout the decades, reflecting broader changes at the College. From a 1920s class in domestic science to a longstanding Chicken Finger Friday tradition, here's a glimpse at some of the ways that Skidmore community's connection to food have changed over the years:

1920s — Domestic science

Domestic science class

Domestic science was once a subject at the heart of Skidmore’s curriculum. In this 1920s photo, students learn cooking techniques in one such course. The study of food is once again finding its way into Skidmore courses, from science to the humanities, and propelling creative thought at Skidmore.


1943 — Victory Garden Project

Victory Garden Project

Karl Hyde, professor of biology, headed up the Victory Garden Project to support our troops during World War II. In this photo from the summer of 1943, he is seen in the driver's seat as students load up vegetables from the College's Victory Garden. Today, the Skidmore Community Garden reflects broader interest on and off campus in locally grown and healthy foods. Some of the yield now goes to the dining hall. 


1959 — Moore Hall kitchen

Moore Hall kitchen

In this 1959 photo, food is prepared in the kitchen in Moore Hall. The Pink Palace, Skidmore’s last downtown building, was closed in 2006 and was razed in 2016 for a condominium project.


1963 — Planning a new dining hall

Dining hall architectural drawing

This April 1963 architectural rendering shows plans for Skidmore’s new dining hall on Skidmore's new campus. The award-winning Murray-Aikins Dining Hall isn’t just serving great food, it’s central to Skidmore sustainability efforts and increasingly finds itself part of Skidmore’s educational mission.


1966 — Corner-Copia

Corner-Copia snack bar

In 1966, students could stop by the Corner-Copia snack bar on the new campus to grab some sweet treats or beverages on the go. Today, Skidmore has Burgess Cafe and The Spa in Case Center, as well as Atrium Cafe, as options for grabbing a quick bite.



AHANA event

As Skidmore’s study body has changed over the years, so has its dining scene. Dining Services has also expanded offerings to appeal to a growing international student population and diverse tastes and dietary concerns. Shown is an African, Hispanic, Asian and Native American (AHANA) event at Skidmore in 1995.

Present day — Chicken Finger Friday

Chicken Finger Friday

Chicken Finger Friday has been a popular tradition on campus for the past four decades. Murray-Aikins Dining Hall hosts theme dinners and special events to keep food fun.


Photographs courtesy of Scribner Library Special Collections. 

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