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Interconnections A leader in the making
Dollars make the difference
Key initiatives funded by last year's giving
Record-breaking affirmation $42 million donated to Skidmore
Summer in Saratoga A photo album
Human hotlinks Alumni business network on the grow
Club Connections Boston alums connect at Fenway


A leader in the making

Back in August I caught up with Markland Walker ’04, the alumni board’s new chair of diversity. Already he was planning an e-newsletter to inform alumni of color about programs and activities on campus, as well as a networking evening for students and alums.

Markland had just finished his preservice training as a New York City Teaching Fellow. His commitment to his career preparation impressed me. In addition to taking courses at Fordham University, he got some hands-on learning from pupils as he co-taught summer school. He is
now a first-year New York City public-school teacher, continuing his studies toward a master’s degree at Fordham. It has been a longtime dream of his to instill a love and appreciation of literature in urban students, just as his English teachers encouraged him in high school (and at Skidmore, where he earned his English degree, summa cum laude, with a concentration in
creative writing).

But Markland has chosen a particularly distinctive and unusual school to teach in: Frederick Douglass Academy. A rarity in New York City, it requires uniforms, formal contracts of commitment from both students and parents, and a strong focus on college preparation
beginning in the sixth grade. The vast majority of graduates do go on to college, many earning
full scholarships to Ivy League institutions.

Markland says, “Skidmore taught me the skill of analysis, the dexterity to look at a problem from multiple angles, and the willingness to embrace what is new and difficult at first.” His educational experiences, along with his talent and attitude, provide a strong foundation for his development into a leader of our global community. Both the demands and the rewards of his life work will probably far exceed his expectations. But one thing is certain: the students and faculty at
Frederick Douglass Academy are lucky to have him—and so are we.