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Rowers still pulling together


Art major Martha Valentine ’09 en- joyed being a rower in Skidmore’s varsity crew. Called “a natural athlete and born leader” by her coach, Jim Tucci, she soon became the stroke, or pace and timing leader, in her boats. Valentine was part of the Thoroughbreds’ 10th-in-the-nation ranking in 2009, and as an alumna she’s been active in Saratoga’s community rowing program.


John Onderdonk ’89 was also an out- standing T’bred oarsman, bringing na- tional attention to a then-young Skid- more sport; he was inducted into Skid- more’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009. And he’s been a mainstay in Saratoga rowing while building his career as an architect with Mosaic Associates. Now the two are working together: Last winter Valentine’s parents, Margaret and Michael, donated $750,000 as a lead gift toward new T’bred crew facilities, and Onderdonk’s firm was engaged to design them, with advice from a com- mittee that includes Martha Valentine. The current boathouse was construct- ed on Fish Creek in 1988. Three years ago its foundation was shored up and other repairs were made, but last year it was determined that more thorough - going upgrades were needed. The new


plan is for a two-story boathouse of some 6,800 square feet, including a large training room and a separate sculling pavilion. Since the total cost will exceed $2 million, further fundraising is under way (donations can be made at cms.skid- more.edu/fosa), with construction to begin once all gifts and pledges are in. Impressed by the “commitment and enthusiasm” of Skid- more’s athletics di- rector, Gail Cum- mings-Danson, and happy that Martha had such “a great experience” as a Skidmore rower, Margaret Valentine says, “We are pleased to be able to help Skidmore in its goal to improve the ath- letic program.” Tucci predicts the new boathouse “will be an inspiring venue to row from” and will help enhance Skidmore’s recruiting


of new student-athletes in the years ahead. Cummings-Danson says the facil- ity will be “a tremendous asset for the rowing program” and notes that it kicks off a series of athletic facilities upgrades being planned, including riding and ten- nis projects to come.


STORAGE AND TRAINING AREAS ARE JUST PART OF THE PLAN FOR A NEW BOATHOUSE.


MOSAIC ASSOCIATES


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