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ontraditional” was its founding goal (it was 1971, after all). And Skidmore’s University Without Walls certainly blazed new trails in individualized, interdis-


ciplinary, and profoundly transformational education, in person and from afar. UWW helped young actors, seasoned business executives, prison inmates, teach- ers in Antigua, and others (including Skidmore’s board chair Janet Lucas Whitman ’59, UWW ’82) who didn’t find conventional paths to college degrees. They enrolled in UWW at ages from 18 to 94. They lived everywhere from New York to California, from


Italy to Dubai. With UWW’s academic advisors and Skidmore faculty, they forged bac- calaureate programs in psychology, English, biology, and every field in between. After 40 years and 1,500 graduates, UWW closes its doors this spring. Since that decision was made in 2008, UWW has focused on helping its students finish up their degree programs—hence the nearly 30 UWWers being honored at a Com- mencement banquet and exhibition. And here’s one more celebration of UWW and its remarkable alumni:


Lo Faber ’06 was already a rock star when he went seeking new options. The founder of New York City jam band God Street Wine, the guitarist, composer, and vocalist had attended two colleges; toured the US for more than a decade, playing 200 to 300 shows a year; recorded numerous albums and produced two rock operas from his converted barn in upstate New York; and worked as a pencil salesman (for the Eberhard Faber family business). By 2000, he says, “I was ready for a new challenge.” Besides, he was a new dad and didn’t want to go back on the road. Noting Skidmore’s “ethos of commitment to undergraduate teaching,” Faber en- rolled as an American studies major, examining the environ- ment of the Hudson Valley and analyzing political thought in the American Revolution. Excited by the academic experi- ence, he says he was also “appalled by the tragedies of 9/11 and the war in Iraq, and wanted to do what I could to change it,” so he got involved in politics, working for the Democrats in the 2004 presidential campaign. Now a Princeton Univer - sity PhD candidate and teaching assistant, Faber is writing about the transformation of New Orleans under American rule following the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. He’s eager for a position as a professor, “wherever the job is.” Meanwhile he still makes joyful noise with fellow musicians. Throughout, the versatile Faber has found one chord always rings true: “You have to love the material, the substance of the work, whatever it is, or you won’t do your best.”


SPRING 2011 SCOPE 25


DENISE APPLEWHITE


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