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Fall 2002

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Alumni affairs
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Class notes




Touching lives, ruining lives
Lost honor
Hold your applause
That beautiful gold piano
Low humor
9/11: No two ways about it

Touching lives, ruining lives

     Kudos to Skidmore for helping [nonagenarian] Geneva Long, UWW ’02, achieve her dream of earning her bachelor’s degree. No doubt she touched many lives in a fruitful and positive way.
     [But as for Gardner Cummings ’02,] it is one thing to become involved in drug use, discover the error of so doing, and break the habit; it is quite another to sell drugs and ruin lives. I was very surprised to read that Cummings was not expelled from Skidmore upon being convicted, and that he was readmitted. Undoubtedly he has turned his life around and is doing all he can to make sure others don’t fall into the same habits that he did. This is very commendable; however, I wonder if the people he sold drugs to have been as fortunate as he.

Joanne Ewig McCallum ’54
Arcadia, Calif.


Lost honor

     It came as quite a shock to me that Skidmore College readmitted a convicted drug dealer. It is extremely disturbing that Skidmore apparently does not take seriously a respect for the law or the college community.
     Where does this leave the Honor Code? To study at a prestigious and expensive liberal arts college ought to entail some basic covenants, among them being to refrain from dealing drugs. Now that drug dealing is excusable, has cheating ceased to be an expulsion offense?

Paul W. Benton ’93
Snowmass Village, Colo.


Hold your applause

     I’ve got nothing against Gardner Cummings, personally—I mean, good for him for turning his life around— but does Skidmore have to make him into some kind of community celebrity?
     And what kind of amends to the Skidmore community is making a video? Did the college pay for it? (If so, don’t expect to see another contribution from me—I’d rather put my money toward my own films, thank you.) Students on financial aid have to clean trays in the cafeteria, but someone who has committed a deliberate crime gets to produce and direct his own video? Why not make him clean bathrooms instead?
     What good does the video do for students anyhow? You mean Skidmore would actually admit students who are not intelligent enough to know that they can go to prison for selling drugs?
     I’ll tell you what this whole thing is about—it’s about the college patting itself on the back for helping someone supposedly down and out to get his life together. If all Skidmore wanted to do was give Cummings a second chance, it could have readmitted him without drawing any attention to it, and let him sink or swim along with everyone else, instead of creating a campus hero. Skidmore, I’ve been a loyal alum, but I have to tell you when I think you’re wrong.

Julia Radochia ’90
Los Angeles, Calif.


That beautiful gold piano

     [The piano-refurbishment story in the summer Scope inspired this reminiscence:] As nursing majors, my roommate (the late Nancy Marean Michaels ’50) and I were happy to return to the Skidmore campus for our senior year in September 1949. We loved Skidmore Hall and the opportunity to renew old friendships, as we had been in New York City for two years [of clinical training].
     After dinner, we would congregate in Skidmore Hall’s living room and I would play the beautiful gold piano there. We sang all the Skidmore songs, especially “Way Down Among the New York Hills,” and I would play my favorite, “Stardust.” My graduation photo was labeled “our pet postprandial pianist”—quite an honor for a nursing major.

Jean Ann Rowe Tourt ’50
Holmes Beach, Fla.


Low humor

     I was embarrassed to read [“Cell Phones? Poppycock!” in the summer ’02 Scope]. That tirade was neither witty nor sensible, nor worthy of an alumni publication. Lives are saved every day because of cell phones. And yes, the President does not have one: he has about fifty, one on every plane, boat, and mode of transportation he uses.

Ben Spiro ’94
Miami, Fla.


9/11: No two ways about it

     Regarding all the “perspectives” on America’s response to 9/11: Pure chatter. There is nothing to “understand” about the terrorists who are trying to destroy our way of life. They hate us and Israel for the freedoms for which we stand. There is no acceptable moral code which supports their actions. It is not a subjective test. To paraphrase Edward R. Murrow, there are not always two sides to every story.

Jane Roberts Alpert ’70
Newton Center, Mass.



© 2002 Skidmore College