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Skidmore College
Skidmore History


President Val H. Wilson

The inauguration of Val H. Wilson as Skidmore's third president in 1957 ushered in a time of further growth and change for the college. Wilson came to Skidmore after serving as president of Colorado Woman's College.


Skidmore sets its sights on a new campus

By the late 1950s, Skidmore's new president and administrators found that properly maintaining the campus's century-old buildings was increasingly difficult. Furthermore, a new highway (now Interstate 87) was to be built over a tract of the college's recreational land. Plans to redesign the existing campus were entertained, but in 1960, Trustee J. Erik Jonsson offered to donate to the college a tract of nearly 1,000 acres of land just two miles north of the existing campus. In 1961 the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept his offer, and build a new campus on the wooded site.

The new campus is built

Construction of the new campus commenced in 1963. The first building completed was a residence quadrangle. Work on the new library was then begun in 1964. The campus was dedicated in May of 1980 as the Jonsson Campus in honor of Margaret and J. Erik Jonsson.

President Wilson

President Wilson died unexpectedly in April of 1964. Skidmore's grief-stricken community appointed trustee Josephine Young Case as interim president.