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Skidmore College
Skidmore Retirees

Sylvia Southwick Emery

Sylvia Southwick Emery, professor emerita of business, was living in Sag Harbor, N.Y., at the time of her death in 1991. She was 88.

Sylvia’s association with Skidmore lasted nearly four decades. Hired by Henry T. Moore, Skidmore’s second president, at a time when contract letters were less formal than they are today, she was assured by her new employer that his children were looking forward to a horseback race with her. She responded by hand (her penmanship a tribute to the Palmer method), saying, “Your letter pleased me, and may you tell your interesting children that I anticipate the promised horseback ride with as much interest as they. In fact, the gracious manner in which you received me at the college and in your home played no small part in influencing my acceptance.”

When Sylvia assumed her position as an assistant professor of secretarial science in 1930, she held a bachelor’s of science in the teaching of business subjects from Boston University.  She later earned an A.M. and Ed.D. from Columbia University. She was named chair of the Department of business and Commercial Science in 1946 and was promoted to full professor in 1949. She retired as Business Department chair in 1967.

In her typewritten retirement letter to Dean of the Faculty Edwin Mosely, she said, “After serving under three presidents and their staff, I leave Skidmore with special regrets, but with great anticipation of its exciting future.” As was the case when she arrived, in departing she also acknowledged the personal ties that were so important, noting that she would miss Dean Mosely and his family.

Her niece survived her.