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PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE Ambition and achievement

Creative Thought. Bold Promise. This was the name we chose some six years ago for the College’s recently com- pleted comprehensive fundraising cam- paign. At least on the Skidmore campus, both are commonly heard phrases. But the results, in this case, have been most uncommon. Our goal in this campaign was to position the College firmly within the ranks of the nation’s finest institutions of higher education, an am- bitious objective indeed. I can say with- out reservation that we have achieved that goal. The record amount raised through this undertaking—$216.5 mil- lion—more than doubled the total of any of our previous fundraising efforts and helped move our endowment to- ward $300 million. Once again our com- munity has come together to take the College to a place few thought possible. This accom- plishment is a tribute to the incredible generosity of the ex- tended Skidmore family and rep- resents a remarkable achievement in its own right.

noted above. The power of this “com munity of individuals” was never more apparent than in the past year, as thou- sands stepped forward to meet the Williamson Challenge. This effort provided a much- needed boost to the College’s finances in a particularly difficult


moment and brought the campaign to a rousing conclusion.

Even as we celebrate the accomplish- ments of our broader community, I would be remiss if I did not recognize several persons who made this endeavor their own. In particular, I want to ac-


outlined in “Strategic Renewal: Reframing our Priorities at the Midpoint of the Strategic Plan” (avail- able at cms.skidmore .edu/planning), we are now competing for students, faculty mem- bers, and resources with the very best schools in the country,


But even more importantly, the cam- paign has enabled us to invest in the life of the College in ways that have made a material and enduring contribution to the quality of the Skidmore experience for our students, further enhancing the value of their Skidmore education. These investments (which are summarized in this issue of Scope) were not just desir- able but necessary. For our aim is not to do a good job of educating some of our students but to do a great job of educat- ing and inspiring all of our students. That is a high standard, one we always must endeavor to surpass.

The campaign also has underscored the power of individual actions joined in a common purpose. It encompasses con- tributions of more than 18,000 individu- als—alumni, parents, friends, and Skid- more employees. Those individuals took it upon themselves to help the College realize the bold educational promise

knowledge the chairs of this campaign— Wilma Stein Tisch ’48, Susan Kettering Williamson ’59, and Sara Lee Lubin Schupf ’62, who have dedicated so many hours to its success—as well as John Howley ’80, who helped us launch this effort. Sue Corbett Thomas ’62 and Janet Lucas Whitman ’59 served successively as chairs of the board of trustees during the campaign, and Polly Skogsberg Kisiel ’62 has led the board’s Advancement Committee for nearly a decade. We could not have achieved what we did were it not for their abiding commit- ment to the College.

The impulse to join in and to take it upon oneself to make a difference is a defining characteristic of the members of the Skidmore family, and so many times it has been a reason for our suc- cess. That energy and dedication will be even more critical in the years ahead, as we move forward with the second half of our 10-year Strategic Plan. As I have

most of whom have longer histories and considerably larger endowments than Skidmore. To succeed in this environ- ment, we must operate both more cre- atively and more efficiently than our competitors. In other words, we must continue to combine creative thought with discipline as we look for new ways in which we can further dis- tinguish ourselves among the best liberal arts colleges in the country. At our core and above all else, we remain a student-centered institu- tion committed to providing a transformative educational experience. The power of a Skidmore education reveals itself ultimately through the en- semble of values, abilities, and dimen- sions of knowledge that we cultivate across the full scope of the Skidmore student experience.

As always, even as we celebrate one success, we already have our next chal- lenge in sight. It is this ambition to reach higher—to find new ways to make even more of a difference for our stu- dents, for our communities, and for the world—that makes Skidmore the great institution it has become and that makes it such an honor and pleasure for me to serve as your president. Advancing our mission with renewed strategic focus will require us, once again, to call (and count upon!) our extended community. Thank you for your continuing support that is so important for all that we are striving to accomplish.



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