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Always a Reunion highlight, the alumni awards ceremony this year honored 10 remarkable graduates. (A video and click- able profiles are at

Distinguished Achievement Award winner Scott Kennedy ’87 majored in theater and also studied film with Eng- lish professor Bob Boyers. Working his way up in corporate and commercial films, Kennedy directed his first docu- mentary about an inner-city school mounting a theater production. The film won several major awards and led him to The Garden, about needy immigrants fighting to preserve their community gar- den from developers. Among its many honors was being short-listed for an Oscar. In his new Fame High, he hopes “to capture the same depth in the soul of the characters.”

The Creative Thought Matters

Award went to Jane Baldwin Henzerling ’97. A Spanish major, she saw during grad- uate school how lucky she was to have had such a good education, so she devot- ed herself to helping youngsters get a strong academic start. She was a bilingual schoolteacher, led Teach for America in the Phoenix and Miami areas, and won a grant to create a charter school in San Francisco. With awards and other support, she opened her Mission Preparatory School in 2011. She says creativity is criti- cal to her ability to “forge a vision, work through obstacles, and figure out new strategies” to help children in need. The Palamountain Award for

Young Alumni Achievement went to foreign-service officer Kareen Thorpe ’02. After graduating with a self-determined major in linguistics, she taught English in China and won a fellowship to earn a master’s in international affairs. She has worked in Nairobi with the US Ambassa- dor to Kenya and also served in the Dem- ocratic Republic of Congo and in Luxem- bourg. She is now a key State Department

resource, in the Africa Bureau, specializing in economic, health, and human rights issues. She says she loves serving her country, and the job “keep me guessing, keeps me on my toes.” The Porter Award

for Young Alumni Service honors the vol- unteerism of busy litigator Kate Nedelman Herbst ’02. Three-year president of Skidmore’s Boston club, she’s also been class secre- tary, FOP chair, and re- union co-chair. Since 2010 she’s been VP of the alum- ni board of directors. She says Skidmore “gave me a lot and I enjoy giving back.”

50th Reunion Serv-

helped organize a huge turnout for their 50th reunion. Tax manager Chris Wilsey Goodwin ’67, P ’96, has chaired the FOP Commit- tee and taken part in regional Skidmore


ice Award winner Mollie Klee Heron ’62 has a long record of service to Skid- more, including work for the Wide Hori- zons Campaign and National FOP Com- mittee, plus roles as class secretary, presi- dent, fund chair, and reunion chair. She led her classmates’ 45th-reunion effort to fund a five-year professorship, filled by chemist Ray Giguere, in the class’s name. Outstanding Service Awards went to five volunteers. Virginia Miller Lyon ’47 (whose mother and two sisters were also alumnae) started attending reunions in the late 1990s and was hooked. She has been class fund chair for 10 years, using creative cards and funny gimmicks to inspire more and more participation in annual giving; last year the class boasted a whopping 81 percent. Joan Firmery ’57 remembers how all students served at the dining hall in her day and has honored the ideal of service ever since. She has been a class agent, president, and reunion volunteer, and also a member of the larger reunion- giving advisory group and the alumni board. She and fellow class officers

events including a “town hall” meeting and enjoyed a “fabulous” alumni trip to the Amazon. A longtime class fund co- chair, she helped raised funds for her 40th reunion to create a five-year term professorship, held by Spanish professor Paty Rubio, in the class’s name. Nancy Brennan ’72 admits her Skid- more involvement “spans a lifetime.” A financial services professional, she served on Skidmore’s board of trustees in com- mittees ranging from audit and advance- ment to academic affairs. She has also been a class agent, reunion fundraiser, and class president as well as member of the alumni board, FOP Committee, and Business Advisory Council.

Education policy leader Amy O’Leary ’92 cites her “strong connection” to Skid- more, whose faculty “encouraged me to think differently and take risks.” In re- turn, she has served as class president, agent, and reunion chair and as a region- al club leader and phonathon volunteer. As an alumni board member, her roles have included VP for involvement and reunion chair.

FALL 2012 SCOPE 31


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