After receiving my second reminder regarding writing my annual class president’s letter, from Jessica Giles, Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs and College Events, I’ve decided to put off my duties no longer. I’ve had a very busy ten-ring-circus kind of a year and a half, mostly without the fun of the big top and I can’t even remember if I sent my class president’s letter last year, though I have a sneaking suspicion that I did not.
While I’ve been not noticing the specifics of what has been happening at our alma mater (due to pressing family responsibilities) apparently things have been going along just wonderfully, despite my lack of attention (and perhaps yours, as well, without my reportage). The Class of 2016 was 650 students strong and is also the most diverse in the College’s history. The College’s London First-Year Experience Program contributed 36 students to the class. Almost 42 percent of the students in the 2012-2013 school year received significant financial aid.
We’ve won a lot of kudos in the past year. Skidmore rates #9 in Newsweek’s ranking of the “happiest schools” and 88% of Skidmore students would chose Skidmore, again. Meanwhile, in a change from our day, Skidmore has a 95% student retention rate. Backstage recently named the Skidmore Dance Department one of the top five dance programs in the country. The College has also gotten awards for community service and sports. Students have done collaborative research with Hassan Lopez, Associate Professor of Psychology, which has allowed several of them to publish articles in peer reviewed journals. Professor Steven Millhauser, who has won much acclaim for previous writing, is again a winner, this time of The Story Prize for books published in 2011.
As part of Skidmore’s ongoing effort to provide greater support to recent graduates and alumni in their career development and transitions, the Career Development Center welcomes Jenna Hartwell as the new Associate Director of Alumni Career Development. In this role, Jenna provides individual career counseling to Skidmore graduates and works with alumni to create networking connections for current students and alums. She also coordinates regional, off-campus career development events for alumni. Alumni interested in working with Jenna may contact her by calling the Career Development Center at (518) 580-5790.
In addition to the above, many other interesting things are occurring on campus, as well, also in the realm of fund raising. More than 10,000 alumni, parents, and friends contributed towards the total of $21 million dollars during the 2011-2012 fiscal year. More than 90 percent of the funds raised came from the 1,000 donors who joined the Friends of Presidents. Major awards from charitable trusts and foundations allowed enhanced programming at the College. All in all, quite an impressive collection of positives, all of which can continue to make us proud of Skidmore’s continuing hard earned success, in which we have all played a part.
By the way, our class is a mere 48 donors away from meeting its 2012-2013 donor goal of 117. The fund year ends May 31, so a gift of any size will move the class toward achieving that goal.
In closing, I hope all of you are having a happy and healthy year and that you continue to support Skidmore at least as strongly as you have in the past.
With good wishes for all,
Joan Agisim Odes ’66, Class President
Joan Agisim Odes
Class Fund Chair
Class FOP Chair
Betsey Wattenberg Selkowitz
Class Agent and Reunion Volunteers
Carolyn L. Bates
Sandra Berk Jacoby
Lynne Meyer Sauer
Beverly Tarbell Patrick
Sharon Walker Boyd