Polo by Twilight celebrates 40th anniversary
Skidmore’s annual Palamountain Scholarship Benefit, Polo by Twilight, has been changing lives for 40 years.
The Joseph C. and Anne T. Palamountain Scholarship Fund, which honors the late Skidmore president and his wife, has provided 400 scholarships to financially eligible juniors and seniors with outstanding academic and co-curricular service records since Anne Palamountain started the fund in 1979. This year’s event will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, at the Saratoga Polo Association on Bloomfield Road in Greenfield Center.
Nkosingiphile “NK” Nonhlakanipho Mabaso, who graduated from Skidmore in May, will receive the sixth Anne T. Palamountain Scholar Award, which is presented to a current or former Palamountain scholar who has demonstrated leadership, service to others and a commitment to the larger good of society.
Mabaso grew up in poverty near Johannesburg, South Africa. Her path toward a brighter future began when she was selected to attend the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls — and continued when she was accepted to Skidmore.
“I thought I was unworthy and so I kept my dreams small and realistic. But then my life changed drastically,” said Mabaso, who majored in sociology with a minor in computer science.
In May, she was also awarded the Everett V. Stonequist Award in Sociology, which recognizes a graduating senior who has shown outstanding interest and achievement in the study of sociology at Skidmore.
Mabaso was a member of Skidmore’s International Student Union, UJIMA, which brings awareness of African, African-American and Caribbean cultures to the campus and neighboring community; Raíces, which promotes awareness about Latinx culture; and the African Heritage Awareness club.
In addition to her studies, Mabaso worked for the Information Technology Help Desk and in the Office of Communications and Marketing. Always eager to share her story and perspective, Mabaso wrote for the Life at Skidmore blog.
"Prospective international students with a similar background to mine could read my stories and see themselves in me,” Mabaso said.
All the odds were stacked against me, and I was not supposed to ever become anything. But here I am, thriving and shining.”
The first Palamountain Scholarship luncheon in 1979 brought together members of the Skidmore College and Saratoga Springs communities. The gathering soon grew into a mainstay of the summer calendar and has become known as the event that “kicks off the summer season in Saratoga.” Today, the popular summer benefit hosts more than 500 guests each year.
The Polo by Twilight event includes a reception and The Palamountain Cup Polo Match, followed by a silent auction and a gourmet dinner prepared by Skidmore College’s award-winning chefs.
“This benefit is an enduring tribute to the Palamountains’ service and leadership at Skidmore College,” said Philip A. Glotzbach, president of Skidmore College. “Anne championed this event for 35 years. As we commemorate its 40th year, we’re excited to celebrate the legacy that the Palamountain Scholarship Fund has created in making a college education accessible to all students.”
Polo by Twilight through the years