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“Skin in the game” is a phrase often heard these days in public discourse. It was popularized in recent times by leg- endary investor Warren Buffett, reflect- ing his belief that corporate leaders per- form better if they have a personal stake in the success of their companies, which in turn would make those companies better investments for others. Without passing judgment on it as a heuristic for Wall Street investing (al- though it seems to have worked well for Mr. Buffett!), I see a number of applica- tions for the phrase at Skidmore. For ex- ample, it underscores our belief that we need to prepare every one of our stu- dents to be active, responsible citizens if our society is to grapple successfully with the many vexing problems confronting it. It was particularly apt this past fall during election season, when Skidmore hosted New York State’s U.S. Senate de- bate and opened the comprehensive, yearlong We The People exhibition at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery (see page 12), which ex- plores the ways in which constitutions help to shape nations and communities. All of us have skin in this game. Having a personal stake is also a part of Skidmore’s core approach to educa- tion, as embodied in the phrase “Cre- ative Thought Matters.” In this context, the emphasis is on “matters,” on not being satisfied simply to study and un- derstand a problem or even to develop a new and creative solution, but on taking the next and perhaps most important step of bringing that solution to bear in real life, making it indeed material. This is why we have launched our new SEE-

Beyond initiative (see page 15), which each year gives some 20 students the op- portunity to take what they have learned here on cam- pus and apply it in academ- ically rigorous internships, research projects, or artistic endeavors across the coun- try and around the globe. Another arena in which it is important for all of us to have some “skin in the game” is in understanding the myriad ways that scientific discov - eries are dramatically transforming the world around us. On any given day, vir- tually any newspaper or newscast in- cludes at least one new way in which science or technology is affecting each of us in our daily lives. In this issue of Scope (see page 7), you can read about a new spectrometer that Skidmore has acquired, thanks to a National Science Foundation grant, to facilitate specialized analyses at the molecular level in a wide range of natural sciences. Our isotope spectro - metry lab—a relatively rare asset among small colleges like Skidmore—will help our faculty and students uncover new knowledge about climate change, human metabolism, and many other subjects in- volved in addressing current and crucial problems. Finally, it is important that all of us have “skin in the game” when it comes to advancing the work of the College. Skidmore cannot flourish without each of us investing in it in whatever ways we can—as volunteers, as staff, as chal- lenging critics and vocal cheerleaders,

REMEMBER PREXY MOORE? Josh Speers ’14 is researching the life of Skidmore’s second president, Henry T. Moore. Having learned of “his incredible achievements in the face of such crises as the Great Depression and World War II,” Speers now seeks more personal stories about Moore the man. Anyone who knew Moore is urged to send memories or anecdotes by March 1 to or to Josh Speers ’14, Skidmore College Box 2945, 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.


and as donors. Our work is indeed the work of many hands. Nearly 10 years ago, during the first few months of my tenure at Skid more, I was confronted with the necessity of reallo- cating resources in athletics to redress a clear inequity be- tween our men’s and

women’s athletics programs. At first the only clear pathway appeared to be to close men’s ice hockey and redirect funds into other programs. Fortunately for all of us, a dedicated group of alum- ni, parents, and friends came forward with an alternative, raising new funds to strengthen all sports programs. For that alternative to work, we had to be willing to listen, acknowledge the difficulties of the moment, let go of preconceptions, and imagine new ways of achieving what could be. And the result? Today we have—in addition to an increasingly successful men’s hockey program—new playing fields, expanded training facilities, additional coaches, and more student athletes who are having greater success than ever, both on and off the field. We have created the Friends of Skidmore Athletics, a wonderful collaboration between a dedicated corps of alumni and parent vol unteers and talented Skidmore staff and administrators. And we have estab- lished the Skidmore Athletics Hall of Fame, giving us a way to celebrate the historic contributions and achievements of so many athletes, coaches, and ath - letics administrators.

All of this came to be because we were willing to put ourselves on the line, to put our own skin in the game. It’s a les- son we hope all of our students learn and carry with them into their lives be- yond Skidmore.



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