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Skidmore College
Skidmore Retirees

Fenton Keyes

Fenton Keyes, a college administrator, died November 26, 1999, in Philadelphia. He was 84.

Fenton was a member of Skidmore's administration from 1946 to 1956. He was the grandson of Charles Henry Keyes, Skidmore's first president, and his father, Harold Brown Keyes, served for many years on Skidmore's board of trustees.

Born in New York City in 1915, Fenton earned an A.B. in 1937 and a Ph.D. in 1941 from Yale University. His first teaching experience was as an instructor in sociology at Colgate University.

A captain in the U.S. Army during World War II, he was awarded the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster. He served on the staff of General A. C. Wedemeyer in both Chunking and Shanghai.

Following the war, Fenton joined Skidmore as assistant professor of sociology and also assistant to President Henry T. Moore. Within a year he relinquished his teaching duties and became business manager as well as assistant to the president. In 1953 he was named to the newly created position of vice president of the college.

He became a leader at Texas Woman's University and Coker College in Hartsville, S.C. In retirement, he wrote a biography of his grandfather titled Charles Henry Keyes: Cal Tech and Skidmore, which he published in 1990.

He is survived by a son, Charles Fenton Keyes; a daughter, Janet Keyes O'Connell; four grandchildren; and great-niece Jennifer Scott Allen '95. He was predeceased by his sister, Joan Keyes Scott '39.