Skidmore College

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Skidmore College
150 px
Seal of Skidmore College
Motto Scuto amoris divini (Latin for Under the shield of divine love) - a play on the name of Skidmore (scuto amoris sounds like "Skidmore").[1]
Established 1903 (as the Young Women's Industrial Club), 1911 (as Skidmore School of the Arts), 1922 (as Skidmore College)
Type Private liberal arts college
Endowment $330.6 million[2]
President Philip A. Glotzbach
Academic staff
Students 2,646 (2014)[3]
Undergraduates 2,632 (2014[3]
Postgraduates 14 (2014[3]
Location Saratoga Springs, New York, United States
Campus 850 acres (3.4 km2)
Colors Green and Yellow         [4]
Athletics NCAA Division IIILiberty League
Nickname Thoroughbreds ("T-Breds")
Mascot Thoroughbreds
Affiliations CLAC
Annapolis Group
Oberlin Group

Skidmore College is a private, independent liberal arts college in Saratoga Springs, New York. Approximately 2,500 students are enrolled at Skidmore pursuing a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in one of more than 60 areas of study.


Skidmore College has undergone many transformations since its founding in the early twentieth century as a women's college. The Young Women's Industrial Club was formed in 1903 by Lucy Ann Skidmore (1853–1931) with inheritance money from her husband who died in 1879, and from her father, Joseph Russell Skidmore (1821–1882), a former coal merchant. In 1911, the club was chartered under the name "Skidmore School of Arts" as a college to vocationally and professionally train young women.[5]

Charles Henry Keyes became the first president of the school in 1912, and in 1919 Skidmore conferred its first baccalaureate degrees under the authority of the University of the State of New York. By 1922 the school had been chartered independently as a four-year, degree-granting college.

Skidmore College was first located in downtown Saratoga Springs, but on October 28, 1961, the college acquired the Jonsson Campus, 850 acres (3.4 km2) of land on the outer edges of Saratoga Springs. The Jonsson Campus was named for the Skidmore trustee Erik Jonsson, the founder and president of Texas Instruments and a former mayor of Dallas, Texas (1964–71). The first new buildings on the campus opened in 1966, and by 1973, the move was mostly complete. The old campus was sold to Verazzano College, a new institution that did not prove successful, and its buildings have since been put to other uses.

In 1971, the college began admitting men to its regular undergraduate program (a few dozen male World War II veterans had been admitted in 1946 - 49). Skidmore also launched a program called the "University Without Walls" (UWW), which allows nonresident students over the age of 25 to earn bachelor's degrees. The program closed in May, 2011. Finally, Skidmore established a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

Skidmore faculty formed the Collaborative Research Program in 1988, which provides students with opportunities to co-author papers and studies with professors. Skidmore began granting master's degrees in 1991 through its Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program. The Skidmore Honors Forum was founded in 1998.

In 2003, Philip A. Glotzbach became the College's seventh president. He has since remained in this role. After his presidency was announced, to welcome him to Skidmore, students rallied and drummed up support for his presidency by writing slogans in chalk on sidewalks around the campus. A notable favorite slogan was, "My bologna has a first name, it's G-L-O-T-Z-B-A-C-H."

2006 marked the start of the largest campaign in Skidmore's history, named Creative Thought. Bold Promise. The goal was to raise $200 million, which was reached and surpassed in 2010, and celebrated at Celebration Weekend.

Academic departments and programs

Nearly all departments offer only a B.A. A B.S. is given to those students majoring in Art (Studio), Dance, Dance-Theater, Education, Exercise Science, Business, Social Work, and Theater. The distinction rests in the number of hours of "non-liberal arts" courses allowed toward the 120 credit hours needed for graduation, 60 for a B.S. and 30 for a B.A. These "non-liberal arts"-designated courses are considered by the college to be of a professional nature.[6]

Admissions profile

For the Class of 2018 (enrolling fall 2014), Skidmore received 8,669 applications and accepted 3,237 (37.3%).[3] The number enrolling was 724; the yield rate (the percentage of accepted students who enroll) was 22.4%.[3] The mean SAT scores for the Class of 2018 were 616 for critical reading, 623 for math, and 620 for writing, while the middle 50% range of SAT scores was 560-670 for critical reading, 570-680 for math, and 563-680 for writing.[3] The mean ACT Composite score was 28; the middle 50% range was 25-30.[3]

Campus and facilities

Jonsson Tower

Most of the buildings on Skidmore's 850-acre (3.4 km2) campus were constructed after 1960.

The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery is the college's main arts facility. In addition to the Tang, Skidmore has undergraduate studio space as well as several smaller galleries. The Saisselin Art Building houses studios for animation, ceramics, communication design, drawing, fibers, metals, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Skidmore has a music program housed in the Arthur Zankel Music Center, which contains a large concert hall and facilities.

Most humanities classes are held in one of four academic buildings: Palamountain, Tisch, Bolton, and Ladd. Harder Hall houses math and computer science; geology, chemistry, physics, and biology operate out of Dana Science Center. Almost every classroom at Skidmore is equipped with a computer and a projector, and many contain other audiovisual equipment such DVD players and slide projectors. The average class size is 17 (generally smaller in lab courses) and the typical student-to-teacher ratio is 8:1.[7]

The Lucy Scribner Library houses approximately half a million volumes. Its five floors contain a large computer lab, approximately sixty open computers on the main floor, with classrooms and private offices. A collection of rare books is kept in the third floor Pohndorff Room. The third floor has a children's library which is used by Saratoga residents.

Skidmore maintains nine on-campus residence halls (Howe Hall, Jonsson Tower, Kimball Hall, McClellan Hall, Penfield Hall, Rounds Hall, Wait Hall, Wiecking Hall and Wilmarth Hall) and three on-campus apartment complexes (North Woods Village, Sussman Village, and the Hillside Houses).

Residence Hall rooms at Skidmore are quite large and the college usually appears on the Princeton Review's "Dorms Like Palaces" list.[8] Most residence halls are arranged in suite style with 3 or 4 bedrooms sharing one common bathroom. Most suites are single sex. Gender-neutral housing is available in Wiecking Hall, the Scribner Village, Hillside, and North Woods apartments. The North Woods Apartments can hold 380 people in 3- and 4-person apartments. The Sussman Village apartments are available to most students except incoming freshmen. They house from 4 to 7 people.

Built in 1986 as a student pub, Falstaff's is now a venue for student sponsored musical performances.

Much of Skidmore's property is taken up by North Woods, a 530-acre (2.1 km2) forest that adjoins the academic campus and reaches up to the bottom of the Adirondack mountains. The woods contain hiking trails that are also open to the general public.

The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery

The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery was opened in 2000, and was designed by the architect Antoine Predock. Predock's design includes two major gallery wings (the Wachenheim Gallery and the Malloy Wing), two smaller galleries (the State Farm Mezzanine and the Winter Gallery), digitally equipped classrooms, and several event spaces. The Tang is nationally known for both its architecture and its holdings, and its excellence has been recognized by the New York Times, Art in America, and Architectural Digest, among other publications.[9]

Arthur Zankel Music Center

Arthur Zankel Music Center

Because of a record-breaking donation made by the estate of Arthur Zankel, Skidmore received $46 million, a portion of which was used as a lead gift to make the state-of-the-art Arthur Zankel Music Center.[10] Designed by Ewing Cole, the building has won awards even before it was built. Most notably, it is lauded for its environmentally friendly nature. For example, rain water is collected on the roof and turned into usable water in restrooms.[9]

Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater

Janet Kinghorn Bernhard '26, while a senior at Skidmore, became the first editor of the Skidmore News. In the 1960s, she and her husband, Arnold, (a Skidmore trustee) committed themselves to building a theater on the new campus. They were both present in 1987 to see their long-awaited dream come true, at the dedication of the Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater. The facility has a main theater, with 300 seats, that is the site of most major productions, as well as a convertible black-box space. The main theater is also the home of the annual National College Comedy Festival.[11] the Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater was named the #16 Best College Theater by the Princeton Review.

Dining facilities

The renovated The Murray-Aikins Dining Hall was opened in Fall 2006. It offers a variety of food selections including 7 food sections; The Global Café (foods from around the world), Semolina (pasta), Emily's Garden (salad bar and Vegan options), The Diner (more typical college foods), The Corner Deli (custom made sandwiches and wraps), Bake Shop, and Supremo's (pizza). The Pizza section has a brand new wood burning oven that is warm and earthy, contrasting with the rest of the dining hall's modern design. Also available is a "do-it-yourself" station where patrons can use items such as a juicer, a large griddle and waffle machines. Before the renovation, the rather dilapidated cafeteria was referred to as the "D-Hall," where burritos were sometimes served as an unexpected special surprise.

Campus Plan

Lo-Yi Chan, architect and campus planner, and apprentice of famous architect I. M. Pei created Skidmore's latest Campus Plan in 2007. Among other proposals it envisions expanding the campus with the addition of another academic quad.

Student life

Student Government Association

The Skidmore College Student Government Association (SGA) is the governing body of the roughly 130 student-run clubs and organizations on campus. In addition to being the official liaison between students and the administration, the Skidmore Student Government Association advocates for college policies that benefit the short - and long-term - interests of the student body. The primary functioning and operation of the SGA is done by an Executive Committee. The Student Senate is the largest and final body in most matters. If an issue arises that the Student Senate is unable to solve, then the Executive Board meets to discuss the issue and come to some conclusion. The Class Council are primarily responsible to be the voice of the Students to Staff, Faculty and Administrators for all issues that do not require a Student Senate vote. There are other SGA Committees and many other individual students appointed to Faculty Committees, All-College Committees and adjudicatory bodies. The current SGA President is Addison Bennett, a junior. Charles Tetelman, a rising Senior, is the current President-Elect.

Student media


Salmagundi is a quarterly journal that focuses on the humanities and social sciences. Founded by Robert Boyers, a long-time faculty member in the English department, it has been published at Skidmore since 1969 and now has an international subscriber base of several thousand readers.

Each issue generally includes poetry, fiction, interviews, and essays. Salmagundi's editors often devote large sections of an issue to a timely special subject. Recent theme issues include "The Culture of the Museum", "Nigerian Mathematics", "Homosexuality", "Art and Ethics", "The Culture Industry", "Kitsch", and "FemIcons."

Nadine Gordimer, J. M. Coetzee, Tzvetan Todorov, George Steiner, Orlando Patterson, Norman Manea, Christopher Hitchens, Seamus Heaney, Mary Gordon, Susan Sontag, Benjamin Barber, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Howard, Carolyn Forche, Martin Jay, and David Rieff are among the writers who have contributed to Salmagundi. Regular columnists include Benjamin Barber, Tzvetan Todorov, Martin Jay, Charles Molesworth, Marilynne Robinson, Carolyn Forché, and Mario Vargas Llosa.

The Skidmore News

The Skidmore News is the college's official student-run newspaper. Its staff is composed entirely of students, and it is published on a weekly basis during the academic year. In 2002, the Associated Collegiate Press awarded the newspaper first place for a four-year college weekly for special coverage of the community reaction to the September 11 attacks.[12] In 2010 The Skidmore News stopped printing physical copies and moved entirely online.


SkidTV is the college's official student-run closed-circuit television station. The club is dedicated to promoting top quality programming while covering events on campus and in the surrounding area.


WSPN 91.1 FM is Skidmore's radio station. It is administered by a board of directors composed entirely of undergraduates. Students, college employees, and residents of the local community are eligible to host shows, but they must apply to the board in order to win timeslots. Competition for high-profile slots is fierce.

WSPN's staff strives to create a cutting-edge mix of musical programming and talk shows. Although it is a small station with a small broadcast area, it has built up a reputation for innovative programming. The Princeton Review consistently ranks it among the nation's top college radio stations, and its internet broadcast reaches listeners throughout the country.

Skidmore Unofficial

Skidmore Unofficial is a popular on-campus news and humor blog, documenting undergraduate life from an alternative perspective. It is completely student-run and unaffiliated with the administration.

National College Comedy Festival

The National College Comedy Festival is an annual not-for-profit festival of student sketch and improvisational comedy that takes place each winter on campus. The festival, which first was held in February 1990, includes professional workshops.[13][14]

Among the colleges and universities that regularly participate are Bard, Bates, Brandeis, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Emerson, George Washington, Haverford & Bryn Mawr, Kenyon, Manhattan, Marist, NYU, Oaksterdam University, School of Visual Arts, Skidmore, SUNY Binghamton, Swarthmore, Tufts, University of Arizona, University of Maryland, University of Southern California, Vassar, Wesleyan, William & Mary, and Yale.

Fun Day

Each spring as classes wind down, the Student Government Association hosts an all-day holiday known as "Fun Day" on the green, featuring bounce-tents, bounce-slides, hot dogs, snow cones, body paint and live music. Students spread blankets out on the lawn where they spend the better part of the day eating, drinking, playing guitars, napping, jumping or riding the tender gypsy in Haupt Pond, and generally living up to the nature of the event.

A cappella

Skidmore currently has 6 a cappella groups: 1 all male, 3 co-ed, and 2 female. The Sonneteers, the first of the all female groups, is Skidmore's first and oldest a cappella group (founded in 1947). The Bandersnatchers is the only all male a cappella group on campus. The Dynamics (Dynos) is Skidmore's oldest co-ed a cappella group (founded in 1995). The Drastic Measures (Drastics) is the second oldest co-ed a cappella group. It was founded as an all-inclusive charitable a cappella group; while it is no longer all-inclusive, the group retains its charitable mission to this day. The Accents is the final female a cappella group. All groups perform on and off campus throughout the semester, holding auditions at the beginning of each semester and concluding each semester with a "Jam." The newest a cappella group, the Treblemakers, is Skidmore's third co-ed a cappella group. Chartered in 2010, the Treblemakers is the college's only remaining all-inclusive a cappella group. They constantly perform with many of the other all-inclusive performance groups on campus. In addition to the a cappella groups, Lift Every Voice, Skidmore's Gospel Choir, was established in 2008 and chartered in 2009 as an official club.


Skidmore's Strategic Plan reflects the college's commitment to sustainability and includes a pledge to deepen connections with the local community, emphasize planning for sustainable operation, and reduce the college's environmental footprint. Three of Skidmore's buildings have geothermal heating and cooling systems, and the college has recently hired a sustainability coordinator to assist with efforts to "green" the campus.[15] Skidmore received a grade of "B+" on the Sustainable Endowment Institute's "College Sustainability Report Card 2011." Transportation planning and sustainable investment priorities helped the college to earn this relatively high mark.[16]

Reefer Madness

In 2013 Skidmore was rated #1 for "Reefer Madness" on the annual Princeton Review school ranking list. Although Skidmore is frequently listed among the top schools for marijuana usage, this was the first time it had taken the top spot.[17]


Skidmore's main campus residential halls are substance-free; however, the Northwoods Apartments and Sussaman Village – upperclassmen housing – are not substance-free, and those who are of legal age may consume and keep alcohol in their residence.


Skidmore's Athletic Department currently funds and supports 19 Varsity teams ranging from Basketball to Riding, Rowing to Ice Hockey. The intercollegiate athletics program offered by Skidmore College is considered to be one of the nation's top sports opportunities for student-athletes. In 2003–2004, players from twelve Thoroughbred teams qualified for regional or national team and individual honors, and more than 95 Skidmore athletes earned league honors. Currently lead by Athletic Director is Gail Cummings-Danson Skidmore is a member of the Liberty League and run out of the recently dedicated Williamson Sports Center.

In 1998 the Women's Tennis Team won the Division III National Title and have been ranked in the Division III top 25 and competed in the NCAA Tournament since 2006. In 2005 the Skidmore Men's Baseball and Lacrosse teams won their conference championships and appeared for the first time in the NCAA Tournament. In 2008 the Women's Crew team was invited to the Eastern Collegiate Athletics Conference in Massachusetts and the Women's Varsity Eight finished the season ranked 10th in the nation. The women's Field Hockey team are four time consecutive Liberty League Champions (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013), appeared in the Division III Final Four in 2010 and 2013, as well as in the NCAA tournament 13 times.

The Skidmore Golf team was the first team to participate in an NCAA Championship in 1987 and has continued to do so for the past 26 years.

From 1971 until 1982, Skidmore athletic teams were nicknamed the "Wombats". In 1982 the team nickname was changed to "Thoroughbreds" because it was felt that the wombat "lacked the image of an athlete."[18]

Skidmore College EMS (SCEMS)

Sidmore College Emergency Medical Services, SCEMS for short, is a student-run New York State-certified Basic Life Support first response agency. The staff includes 30 Emergency Medical Technicians and 10 First Air/CPR/AED. SCEMS utilizes a 2014 Ford Escape as a BLS Flycar. SCEMS is in service during the academic year from 4:30pm to 8:30am on Monday through Friday and 24 Hour service on Saturdays and Sundays. SCEMS is funded through the Skidmore Student Government (SGA). SCEMS works closely with the Saratoga Springs Fire Department, who provides Advanced Life Support First Response and Transport, Wilton EMS and Skidmore College Campus Safety.

Notable alumni


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External links