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Strength in numbers

More than 10,000 alumni, parents, and friends flexed their joint philanthropic muscle this year to contribute just under $21 million (making this the sixth consec- utive year Skidmore has surpassed the $20M mark) in support of a wide range of College activities. This total included a record $6.9 million for the Annual Fund, which provides funding for everything from financial aid and student research to developing new exhibitions at the Tang Museum and implementing new teaching approaches in the classroom.

Once again volunteer leaders played a central role in our fundraising success. In the Annual Fund, the alumni board’s Vice President for Alumni Giving Nancy Hamil- ton ’77 partnered with Judy Allen Wilson ’69, chair of the National Friends of the Presidents Committee, to continue a string of strong performances for the fund. Both step down this year to make way for their very able successors, Emily Rover Grace ’99 and Nancy Brennan ’72. They will take over a group of nearly 700 alumni volun- teers who make time each year to reach out to classmates and friends and encour- age them to support the College. Reunions con- tinued to be a driv- er for fundraising success, inspiring classes to give back to the institution that helped launch them in their lives. Barbara Underhill Collyer ’52 rallied her 60th-reunion class to raise an im- pressive $2.8 mil- lion. Celebrating their 50th reunion, the Class of 1962 raised funds to pro- vide scholarship support to 11 new “Class of 1962 Scholars.” Virginia Lyons ’47 led her remarkable 65th- reunion class to the




prize for highest participation (76%), while the still-maturing class of 1992, not to be outdone by their elders, set a record with 31 FOP donors at their 20th reunion. While reunions capped off the fund -


highlight of the 2011–12 fund year was the 30th anniversary of the Filene Music Scholarships, established by the Lin- coln and Therese Filene Foundation, in- cluding Helen Filene Ladd ’22. Freshman Filene Scholars gave a con- cert in October, Filene alumni Alta Boover Dantzler ’00 and Ryan Klein ’08 performed on campus in November, and members of the Filene and Ladd families attended the rededication of Skidmore’s Filene Hall in the spring. Trustee Bill Ladd ’83, an actor and filmmaker, and Filene Foundation president Mike Ladd, father of Chris ’05, were among the celebrants. Along with viewing the auditions for this year’s round of Filene Scholarships, guests enjoyed a Filene-tribute video written by Bill Ladd (posted at In honor of Skidmore’s long, strong re- lationship with the Ladd family and Filene Foundation, the main performance space in Skidmore’s Arthur Zankel Music Center is named the Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall.

rais ing year, the end-of-year push actually began with the wildly successful 5/01 Challenge on May 1. With a goal of secur- ing 500 donors in a single day, and fueled by a $50,000 challenge grant if that mark was met, the effort’s social-media blitz ex- ceeded everyone’s ex- pectations by secur- ing gifts from 1,038 donors and qualify- ing for a second $50,000 challenge. With tweets and e- mails flying all day long, the event was marked by an out- pouring of support and affection per- haps best summed up by the tweet from one grad: “No dona- tion amount could match my love for you! Proud to give what I can!” As graduates

opened their wallets and pocketbooks to support Skidmore, many current par-

ents and students joined them in express- ing their belief in the importance of the College’s work. The Parents Fund sur- passed $1.5 million for the second year in a row, with the Senior Family Project, led by Skidmore trustee Scott McGraw and Cathy McGraw, parents of Carolyn ’12, raising nearly half a million to support renovations to Scribner Library. Those efforts echoed the work of the seniors themselves, as more than 400, led by co- chairs Logan Brenner ’12 and Jono Zei- dan ’12, stepped forward to create a Class of 2012 scholarship. Finally, we continued to receive strong

external validation for our work from a range of foundations. Major grants in- cluded $600,000 from the Cargill Founda- tion to support a number of sustainability efforts, $500,000 from the Davis United World College Scholars Program to pro- vide scholarship support for more than 20 international students, and $60,000 from the Andy Warhol Foundation to help fund last spring’s retrospective of Nancy Grossman’s work at the Tang Museum. These contributions and the thousands of individuals behind them are essential partners with faculty and staff in the work of preparing our students to become lead- ers in their communities and professions. In a very real way they make it all work, and we are deeply grateful for every gift, large and small, to support this work. It truly makes a difference.

FALL 2012 SCOPE 35


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