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actions.” But Skidmore’s history (it wasn’t chartered to grant bachelor’s degrees until 1922, and it long focused on the “help- ing professions” like teaching and nursing), together with its culture of individualism (eschewing sororities and fraternities, and with just a 30-year history in varsity sports) made it a late bloomer in eliciting alumni support for alma mater and old school ties. Career networking and other avenues of alumni engagement have been less developed than at many longer- established peer colleges—until “Creative Thought Bold Promise” gave them a jump-start. Among its con- tributions to College culture: • 17 Presidential Advisory Dinners, where 395 alumni and parent lead- ers heard inside information and offered suggestions on institu- tional strategies


• eight town-hall-style meet- ings, drawing nearly 500 alumni, parents, and others to discuss the values, risks, and oppor tunities of Skid- more’s brand of education


• the founding of the Council of 100, to solicit advice from alumni leaders and nurture the next generation of key supporters and trustees


• Friends of Skidmore Athletics sponsorship of Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, the summer Thoroughbred Cup benefit, alumni gatherings and team reunions, and more


• high-participation senior- class giving, joining grads- to-be in a group effort that results in a scholarship grant for a senior-to-be


cations and hundreds of volunteers inspired a doubling in the number of donors who hadn’t given in the previous year


• the Senior Family Project, which leaves behind in- scribed bricks in Case Center’s patio as a lasting legacy for sen- ior-class families who donate to the Parents Fund


• First-Year Experience and sophomore programs to inspire aca- demic and community engagement


• new internships sponsored by alumni and parent employers, helping students get real-world work experience


• Skidmore Business Network, founded by and for alumni in business, finance, law, PR, and related fields and already num- bering 1,600 members in five chapters from Boston to San Francisco


• Web and e-mail outreach to more alumni and parents more often, from class communications to fundraising notes to Scope Monthly e-newsletters


• the 2009–10 Williamson Challenge, in which new communi- 22 SCOPE FALL 2010 []


OVERSEAS STUDY AND INTERNSHIPS, CUTTING-EDGE MICROSCOPY IMAGING AND OTHER EQUIPMENT, AND NEW ENDOWED FACULTY CHAIRS ARE AMONG THE KEY ACADEMIC INITIATIVES SUPPORTED BY CAMPAIGN GIFTS.


COMING UP IN THE WORLD Donations of time, talent, and treasure not only clinched the campaign but, according to VP Casey, enhanced the very char- acter of Skidmore, its value to all those touched by it, and its place in American higher education. He confides, “When we started, it was an open question whether Skidmore was widely viewed as worthy of investments at the multimillion- dollar level—the level usually reserved for schools such as Dartmouth, Williams, and Harvard. Well, we an- swered that question; the answer is yes.” Board chair Janet Whitman adds, "Our alumni truly care about Skidmore; we asked, and they gave. Even with a failing economy, people put their trust in Skidmore—they knew that by giving they were making a terrific investment.” That- trust, says Casey, reflects Skidmore’s value in the eyes of savvy, influential philanthro- pists who have plenty of wor- thy causes to invest in and who choose Skidmore as one of them. While the previous campaign netted 21 gifts of at least $1 million and three gifts of $5 million or more, “Cre- ative Thought Bold Promise” attracted 27 gifts at $1 mil- lion, six in the $5M–$25M range, and one at over $40M. Co-chair Sara Lee Schupf


observes, “Campaigns encour- age self-assessment and priori- tizing. They make dreams reality. Skidmore’s campaign


transformed ideas and promises to action. Skidmore now has increased ‘bargaining’ power.” In fact, with the interdiscipli- nary depth and breadth of the Tang and now the Zankel, she adds, “I doubt any other small liberal arts college has the qual- ity and diversity of programs that we do.” According to her fel- low co-chair Billie Tisch, this campaign “gave voice to Skid- more’s unique mo dus vivendi” and helped potential applicants, alumni, and others “to recognize the authenticity of its mis- sion. ‘Creative thought’ has created a real buzz.” As Whitman sees it, a key to the recent success was “strong,


visionary leadership at the College, as well as an invested group of volunteer leaders.” Barlok agrees, “I traveled many miles with Phil and Marie Glotzbach over the course of this campaign, and I have an enormous amount of appreciation


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