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Skidmore College
Skidmore History


Skidmore School of Arts

1911-1921In response to the success of the Young Women's Industrial Club, and at the urging of Mrs. Scribner, the Regents of the State of New York granted the school, newly renamed the Skidmore School of Arts, a provisional charter on August 31, 1911.

Once the Skidmore School of Arts was established, Lucy Scribner began the search for a president. She saw in Charles Henry Keyes a strong and efficient leader. Keyes entered office as the Skidmore School of Arts president in 1911.

In 1904, the Young Women's Industrial Club expanded into the former Temple Grove Seminary building, located on Circular Street. By 1911, the growing Skidmore School of Arts was bursting at the seams, and a five story addition was added to the building, known as Skidmore Hall. Although it is no longer owned by Skidmore College, Skidmore Hall remains functional as a downtown apartment building.

In 1915, Dean Sarah Gridley Ross proposed the idea of a founder's day celebration to honor Lucy Skidmore Scribner. Mrs. Scribner modestly insisted that the celebration be titled "May Day." Upon Mrs. Scribner's death in 1931, the name was changed to "Founder's Day" in her honor. May Day consisted of chapel services, plays and pageants, a maypole dance and the crowning of a May Queen and her court.