Hamilton named chair-elect of Trustees
At its February 2019 meeting, the Skidmore College Board of Trustees unanimously approved
the appointment of Nancy Wells Hamilton '77 as its chair-elect. She will succeed W.
Scott McGraw, who will step down at the end of his 3-year term in May 2019.
In addition to her current role as co-chair of Creating Our Future: The Campaign for Skidmore, Hamilton previously served as a member of the President’s Advisory Council, as an alumna trustee and as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center.
"It's a true honor to serve as the board chair,” Hamilton said. "I look forward to building on the momentum that Scott has created."
Hamilton, a partner with Jackson Walker LLP, in Houston, Texas, has a national legal practice focused on First Amendment law, intellectual property and complex commercial litigation. Listed in "Best Lawyers in America," she has appeared in federal and state courts for clients such as CNN, Fox News, Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil, CBS Inc., the Tribune Company and U.S. Trust.
Working with a representative of the Tribune Company and the chairman of the American Bar Association Communications Law Forum, Hamilton created a national diversity initiatives program to improve the hiring and retention of minorities in the legal field, specifically within the area of media law.
Hamilton is a frequent writer and lecturer on trial tactics and media law, including "What to Do When the Media Calls" and "Building Rapport in the Courthouse" for the Texas State Bar; "Trial Techniques" for the Media Law Resource Center Annual Conferences in 2006 and 2008; an appearance on PBS Houston’s KUHT-TV program "The Connection" on videotaping jury deliberations; and a Texas State Bar Pattern Jury Charge project.
Chair-elect Hamilton will step down as co-chair of the campaign. Trustee Susan Gottlieb Beckerman '67 has been named campaign co-chair, joining Trustee Tom Wilmot '99, who has been co-chair since 2016. Beckerman, who chairs Skidmore’s 1903 Society and the board’s admissions and student affairs committee, has served as a fundraising volunteer for almost 50 years.
During his tenure as chair, McGraw oversaw the launch of the public phase of Creating Our Future: The Campaign for Skidmore, which has raised $178 million toward the goal of $200 million by 2020; the hiring of four members of the President's Cabinet; groundbreaking for the $127 million Center for Integrated Sciences, the single largest academic initiative in Skidmore's history; and board approval for a plan to accelerate the project for completion in 2024.
"As board chair, Scott has been a master at building consensus and collaboration, which is evidenced by the many significant accomplishments during his tenure," Hamilton said. "He embodies creative thought."
Scott and Cathy McGraw served on Skidmore's Parents Council for all four years that their daughter Carolyn was a student, and they chaired both the Class of 2012 Senior Family Gift and the Annual Parents Fund. McGraw joined the Board of Trustees in 2011. He served as chair of the investment committee and chair of the advancement committee, and shared his expertise on the board's executive, budget and finance, and strategic planning committees.
"It's been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve as chair of the board," McGraw said. "With Nancy’s superb leadership and strong belief in the value of higher education, coupled with the dedication and hard work by the faculty and staff and unswerving support from the board, alumni and friends of the College, Skidmore is well-positioned to continue gaining national prominence while providing an exceptional liberal arts education."