Eleanore F. Galant
Eleanore F. Galant, Skidmore’s longtime director of publications, died June 25, 2006,
at Wesley Health Care Center following a brief illness.
Born Nov. 30, 1918, in Kokomo, Ind., the daughter of William and Lillian Furlong, Eleanore was raised in Indiana and Illinois. She earned an A.B. degree in English at the University of Illinois in 1940. Shortly after she moved to Washington, D.C., where she first worked briefly for the federal government as an editorial assistant and later joined the National Education Association as director of its Editorial Services Office. While at the NEA she initiated and served as assistant editor of The Public and Education, the NEA’s first national newsletter.
On May 22, 1943, Eleanore and Henry C. Galant were married in the chapel of Harvard University. The couple met while students at the University of Illinois, and his pursuit of additional education — first at Switzerland’s Université de Genève and later at Harvard — helped set the stage for Eleanore’s career path. During 1947-48, she worked with the U.S. Foreign Service in Geneva, Switzerland, and served on the U.S. Human Rights Delegation (where she worked with Eleanor Roosevelt), and later as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Permanent Delegation to the Economic Commission for Europe. Upon returning to the United States, while Henry undertook graduate and doctoral studies at Harvard, Eleanore worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Digital Computer Laboratory on technical editing and administrative tasks.
In 1954 they moved to Saratoga Springs and Skidmore College, where Henry was the founding chair of the college’s Department of Government, a title he held for 25 years. Eleanore joined the Skidmore staff as a part-time assistant in the Office of the President in 1955, where her responsibilities included organizing, coordinating, and editing the first Middle States Report under then-President Henry T. Moore. At the same time she was a part-time student at the University at Albany, State University of New York, and earned an A.M. degree in English in 1957. Eleanore briefly taught high school English in the Ballston Spa School District before returning to the Skidmore staff as the director of publications in 1959.
Over the next 25 years Eleanore developed a reputation as an astute and careful editor known for her lively conversational style and detailed stories. She variously held other titles in Skidmore’s public communications office, including serving a decade as editor of Scope, the alumni magazine; and as director of public relations and publications from 1974 to 1978. During her years of service, Skidmore’s communications program expanded and its publications won awards from a number of national organizations, including the University and College Designers Association, the National School Public Relations Association, and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Eleanore forged many friendships within the Skidmore community, among members of the faculty and staff as well as students and alumni, and was a thoughtful and supportive friend and colleague. She retired from Skidmore on June 30, 1984.
Eleanore’s commitment to community took the form of service in several areas: with the local chapter of the American Association of University Women, where she held several offices, including president during 1968-69; Soroptimist International of Saratoga County; the League of Women Voters, on whose board she served for a decade; and the library. Eleanore was president of the Saratoga Springs Library Board from 1975 to 1978; a member of the Southern Adirondack Library System Board of Trustees for 10 years and president from 1978-80; and a member of the Advisory Council of the New York Sate Association of Library Boards (Library Trustees Foundation of New York State), where she worked on publications, public relations, and legislation. Her library work included weekly reading sessions to local children and support of Skidmore’s Lucy Scribner Library, where a first-floor reading room is named in honor of Eleanore and Henry.
A private burial service was held in Kokomo, Ind.