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while the art, physical education, and theater departments were stranded on the old campus. Palamountain lobbied brilliantly to gain access to state dormi- tory loans, but he was trying to build a new campus with a tiny endowment of just over $2.6 million. He was also work- ing to expand admissions (despite the unappealing prospect of college life split across two campuses), and in 1971 Skid- more went coed, challenging campus planners to accommodate both the first and second sexes.


Somehow Palamountain pulled it off. By 1978 all departments and offices were on the new campus, most of the


“The trustees have voted to” —long pause— “move to a new campus,” at which, according to Berry, “the hall exploded” in joy and excitement.


downtown campus buildings having been sold to the short- lived Verrazano College. Skidmore retained Moore Hall as its only off-campus dormitory, until it sold that too in 2009. Palamountain’s successors each continued the development of the Jonsson Campus, accommodating growth in areas from information technolo- gy and science research to student services and responsible citizenship. Among notable recent additions have been the Tang Museum, a strikingly distinctive building set low in a grove west of Haupt Pond; the Northwoods Village student apart- ments, exploiting off- the-grid geothermal heating and cooling; and the acclaimed Zankel Music Center, with geothermal and other “green” building features. At the same time, the College is


turning more attention to maintenance and renovation, as much of the “new” campus is now 30 and 40 years old. Since taking ownership of Wood- lawn, the College has also grown into its role as steward of the undeveloped portions known as the North Woods. These 400-plus acres of forested hills and streams have been used for research and teaching as well as for bird-watch- ing, dog-walking, and other recreation. In response to habitat damage from heavy use by bicyclists in the early 1990s, campus committees and admin- istrators developed stewardship plans to balance the various demands on its frag-


ile landscape, including some development (from the small Fal- staff’s pavilion in the 1980s to the extensive Northwoods apart- ments in 2006) on its edges. Over the years Skidmore has also acquired other natural lands, including a 200-acre donation this past winter.


THE BRAND-NEW SCRIBNER LIBRARY, CONSTRUCTED IN 1966


I like to imagine Lucy Scribner, an avid walker, taking regular constitutionals along the carriage roads of Woodlawn, some of which are now the paths crisscrossing the campus greens and woodlands. If she could see the landscape now—from the mod- ern dining hall and im- posing Zankel Center to the lovingly tended student-run organic garden opposite her house—she would cer- tainly be proud of what her beloved college has become.


SPRING 2011 SCOPE 21


BOB MAYETTE


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