Making history: Welcoming the Class of 2026
Skidmore is welcoming the largest first-year class in College history — 785 students drawn from a record pool of more than 13,000 applicants.
Members of the Class of 2026, who come from 36 states and are citizens of 31 countries, were officially welcomed to campus during New Student Convocation on Sunday, Sept. 4.
Well over half of the class — 452 students — arrived at Skidmore on Thursday, Sept. 1, for Skidmore’s vibrant pre-orientation programs, ranging from on-campus experiences that explore exciting activities in Saratoga Springs to paddling expeditions and yoga retreats in the nearby Adirondack mountains. Another 29 students are spending their first semester in London as part of a Skidmore academic program.
First-year students also participated in a series of orientation programs organized by Skidmore’s First-Year Experience program. A hallmark of the program is a rich variety of multidisciplinary Scribner Seminars, which extend this year from Bad Science, taught by Associate Professor of Psychology Corinne Moss-Racusin, to Disney's America, taught by Professor of American Studies Greg Pfitzer. Classes for all students began Wednesday, Sept. 7.
Skidmore again exceeded its admissions target, and the first-year class is 57 students larger than last year’s incoming class.
A Skidmore student participates in a ropes course as part of pre-orientation programming before the start of classes.
Mary Lou Bates, vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid, described an incoming class that is as diverse as it is engaged. In addition to English, members of the class use more than 40 different languages, which range from American Sign Language to Zulu.
“As a class, you bring to Skidmore a wide range of and diverse assortment of talents and experiences,” Bates said. “Many of you are committed to and actively supporting causes about which you are passionate: Black Lives Matter, climate change, women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, prison reform — to name just a few.”
Members of the class have been recognized for outstanding athletic and academic achievements, have completed impressive research and internships in the sciences, business, and community organizations, and have performed dance from ballet and jazz to Chinese folk and Bharatanatyam.
A quarter self-identify as domestic students of color, and 11% are the first in their families to go to college. Half of the students applied and were accepted through Skidmore’s Early Decision process.
First-year students pose for a photo before leaving campus for London as part of a First-Year Experience program.
College President Marc Conner and Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim welcomed the new students to campus and shared words of wisdom. Rachel Roe-Dale, director of the First-Year Experience and professor of mathematics, addressed the class on behalf of Skidmore’s faculty.
“The next four years at Skidmore will continue to be a period of intense change for you,” Roe-Dale told the incoming class. “Change is ubiquitous and unavoidable. Change is happening all around you, and change presents the opportunity for growth. Over the next four years you will choose how you will meet these growth opportunities and how you will approach the adversity and challenges that come with them.”