This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Reunion archaeology: “Early man” at Skidmore


Coeducation began at Skidmore with just 33 male freshmen matriculating in 1972–73. The early and mid-1970s were both daunting and galvanizing for the pioneering coeds and for their college. This summer, in a Reunion Weekend symposium titled “Skidmore Admits Men! Panel Discussion from the Front Lines,” ’70s-era alumni engaged in a rol- licking recollection and reflection on the tumultuous early years of coeducation at Skidmore.


Organized by Art Richardson ’77 and Alan Braunstein ’75, and featuring pan- elists Bill McKendree ’74, Andy Burling ’75, Fred Goldstein ’75, Nancy Hamilton ’77, Jed Lavitt ’77, and Mickey Ravin ’78 along with commentator Walter Bazar ’76, the discussion was moderated by Pete Sipperly, Skidmore’s associate dean of students from 1972 to 1979. (Each has great comments and bios posted on the Scopedish blog.) To kick off the festivities, Scott Sager ’77 screened his “tone piece”: a hilarious


the hair, and the hijinks depicted in those old photos (who drove that sports- car into the laundry room?) brought the house down. Were we ever that young? Did we really have all that hair?


Next the panelists—


older, wiser, certainly grayer—offered stories, memories, and per- spectives. The idea of solidarity, a bond


THERE WAS A LOT OF TALK ABOUT BUILDING A MALE TRADITION FROM SCRATCH: “WE GOT DUMPED OUT OF THE BOX WITHOUT AN


forged by sharing the experience of being in a small minority, was men- tioned often. “It was kind of like a frater- nity, but very nonfraternity fraternity,” said Fred Goldstein. From the audience, Matt Rosen ’77 chipped in, “Some of my best friends in the world today are right here in this room.”


There was a lot of talk about building a male tradition from scratch. “We got dumped out of the box without an in- struction sheet and found our own para- digm,” Richardson recalled. In those


INSTRUCTION SHEET AND FOUND OUR OWN PARADIGM.”


We started as a club sport, scraping up a few hundred dollars and just enough fresh-faced recruits—no experience re- quired—to field a team with no replace- ments on the bench. Our “uniforms” were yellow T-shirts and black gym shorts.) The discussion ca- reened from the ridicu- lous to the sublime. To the question whether


COED COMMENTATORS IN BACK: RICHARDSON, SIPPERLY, RAVEN, BURLING, LAVITT, AND BAZAR; AND IN FRONT: SAGER, BRAUNSTEIN, HAMILTON, MCKENDREE, AND GOLDSTEIN


slideshow of college snapshots set to rock music. (For his omission of five particular photos, he noted ominously, “Men of Kimball, you’re welcome!”) The clothes,


34 SCOPE FALL 2012


seminal years the WSPN radio station was started and the polo, hockey, and lacrosse teams were launched. (I was a lacrosse team founder in 1976.


anyone chose Skidmore because of the tilted ratio of women to men, most dis- missed the idea and cited “academic ex- cellence” and other old chestnuts, but one audience member called out, “Heck, yeah! I came from an all-boys school!” As the laughs and stories flowed, it became abundantly clear that those years were a pivotal time for all involved. One preva- lent theme was the friendships that men and women formed without the entangle- ments of traditional dating. Also, many credited their success in the workplace to the democratic ideals of equality that they first learned at Skidmore. When planning this gathering of kindred spir- its, Richardson and Braun- stein wisely understood the need to depart from class-year restrictions and recognize an era and its vanguard: the founding fathers of Skidmore’s coed student body. Judging by the turnout and enthusi- asm, their “early man” concept is compelling. The group has started facebook.com/skidmore- men and is planning a comeback tour for Re- union 2015. “I’m already thinking about Manstock


II,” Richardson reports.


Meanwhile, a sound recording of the entire discussion is available on the Scope dish blog. —Jon Wurtmann ’78


TOM STOCK


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72