Skidmore College is a private, liberal arts college located in Saratoga Springs, New York, United States. The college currently enrolls approximately 2,500 students and offers B.A. and B.S. degrees in more than 60 areas of study. Skidmore received 7450 applications in 2007–08 for the class of 2012, admitting 28% of its applicants. The median SAT score was 1320 and ACT score was 30. In 2006, Newsweek/Kaplan identified Skidmore as one of 25 'New Ivies,' an elite school providing an excellent education outside of the Ivy League. Since 2007, Skidmore has decided not to participate in U.S. News & World Report rankings.
Since its founding in the early twentieth century as a women's college
, Skidmore has undergone several transformations. 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 prosperous coal merchant, who died in 1882. In 1911, the club was chartered under the name "Skidmore School of Arts" as a college to vocationally and professionally train young women.
Charles Henry Keyes became the first president of the school in 1912, and in 1919 Skidmore conferred its first baccalaureate degrees under the State University of New York. By 1922 the school was independently chartered as a four-year, degree-granting college.
Skidmore was first located in downtown Saratoga Springs, but on October 28, 1961, the college began its move to the Jonsson Campus, an plot of land on the edge of Saratoga. The Jonsson Campus was named for Skidmore trustee Erik Jonsson, the founder and president of Texas Instruments and a former mayor of Dallas, Texas (1964-1971).
Trustee Josephine Young Case delivered a charge on the development of the new campus, a speech which to this day guides Skidmore's development. For example, on Scribner Library she wrote, "And at the heart of the beating center, you must set the library where every book wanted is immediately at hand, and a thousand others wait beside them to be discovered."
1971 was an important year for Skidmore. For the first time, the college began admitting men to the regular undergraduate program (a few dozen male World War II veterans were briefly enrolled in the late 1940s). Skidmore also launched an innovative program called University Without Walls (UWW), which allows nonresident students over age 25 to earn bachelors degrees. Finally, Skidmore established a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.
In 1988, Skidmore faculty formed the Collaborative Research Program, which provides students with opportunities to co-author papers and studies with professors. Skidmore began granting masters degrees in 1991 through its Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program. The Skidmore Honors Forum was founded in 1998.
2006 marked the start of the largest campaign in Skidmore's history, named: Creative Thought. Bold Promise. The goal of it is to raise $200 million for Skidmore, and as of November 2006 $121 million has already been raised.
Presidents of Skidmore
- Henry T. Moore (1925 - 1957)
- Val H. Wilson (1957 - 1965)
- Joseph C. Palamountain, Jr. (1965 - 1987)
- David H. Porter (1987 - 1999)
- Jamienne S. Studley (1999 - 2003)
- Philip A. Glotzbach (2003 - present)
Academic Departments and Programs
Campus and facilities
Most of the buildings on Skidmore's campus were constructed after 1960. Consequently, the grounds have a contemporary ambience that is enhanced by the numerous sculptures and murals that decorate the quads and other common areas.
The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery is the college's most prominent arts facility. In addition to the Tang, Skidmore has substantial 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 well-known music program and is currently building a large concert hall with state-of-the art facilities to replace its current music building.
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 16 (generally smaller in lab courses) and the typical student-to-teacher ratio is 11:1.
The Lucy Scribner Library, which houses approximately half a million volumes, is notable for both its function and beauty. Its five floors contain a large computer lab, approximately sixty open computers on the main floor, classrooms, private offices for seniors who are working on theses, and many areas for individual and group study. A substantial collection of rare books is kept in the second floor Pohndorff Room. The third floor is home to a children's library which is used by Saratoga residents. Also present is the Help Desk where students can get help with their computers. A helpful service offered by the library is the inter-library loan; students can put in a request for a book found at another college and have it sent to Skidmore free of charge.
Skidmore maintains nine on-campus residence halls (the off-campus Moore Hall was finally sold so that all students have the option to live on campus). The college recently constructed the North Woods Apartments which are available to juniors and seniors and can hold 380 people in 3- and 4-person apartments. Scribner Village are the older apartments on campus available to most students except incoming freshmen. They house from 4 to 7 people and can be themed. Most residence hall rooms at Skidmore are quite large and the college usually appears on the Princeton Review's "Dorms Like Palaces" list. Most residence halls are arranged in suite style with 3 or 4 bedrooms sharing one common bathroom. All suites are single sex. Gender-neutral housing can be found in Wiecking Hall, the only hall-style building on campus. Scribner Village and Northwoods apartments are also gender-neutral.
Much of Skidmore's property is taken up by North Woods, a forest that adjoins the academic campus and reaches up to the bottom of the Adirondack mountains. The woods contain extensive hiking trails that are 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 world-renowned architect Antoine Predock. Predock's striking, innovative 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.
The Tang has a private collection of over 4,500 works, including pieces by Rembrandt van Rijn, Albrecht Dürer, Francisco de Goya, William Hogarth, Roy Lichtenstein, Gary Winogrand, W. Eugene Smith, Eugene Atget, and Nan Goldin. The museum also maintains extensive collections of African, Indian, Chinese, and South American art.
An ambitious program of relevant, scholarly exhibitions is perhaps the Tang's greatest draw. Artists who have shown at the Tang include Kara Walker, Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler, Trisha Brown, and Richard Pettibone. Among other recent exhibitions are "Brushing the Present: Contemporary Academy Painting from China", "From Pop to Now: Selections from the Sonnabend Collection", "The World According to the Newest and Most Exact Observations: Mapping Art and Science", "Work: Shaker Design and Recent Art", and "Molecules that Matter".
The Tang is an educational center as well as a museum. Skidmore classes regularly meet in the galleries and classrooms, and groups from other schools visit to view exhibits, hear lectures, and participate in workshops. Tours, demonstrations, and other events are generally open to the general public. In addition to visual arts exhibitions, the Tang often hosts plays, musical performances, and dance recitals.
Arthur Zankel Music Center
Because of a record breaking donation made by the estate of Arthur Zankel, Skidmore will receive $42 million dollars, a portion of which will be used as a lead gift to make the state of the art Arthur Zankel Music Center. Designed by Ewing Cole
the building has already won awards even though it has not been constructed. Most notably, it is lauded for its environmentally friendly nature. For example, rain water will be collected on the roof and turned into usable water in restrooms.
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.
the Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater was named the #17 Best College Theater by princeton review.
A new dining hall was opened in Fall 2006 with futuristic architecture and a new kitchen which has greatly improved food quality. The new dining hall offers a variety of food selections including 8 food sections; The Global Café, Semolina (Pasta), Emily's Garden (salad bar), The Diner, The Corner Deli, Dessert, Vegan, and Supremo's (pizza) sections. 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 "Cook-your-own-food" section where patrons can use a large griddle or waffle machines.
Lo-Yi Chan, architect and campus planner, and apprentice of famous architect I M Pei has created Skidmore's next major Campus Plan. The expansion of the campus will provide Skidmore with the growth needed to continue as a top academic institution in the years to come.
The small city of Saratoga Springs
(pop. 30,000) is home to the internationally renown Race Track
. Due to the large racing season draw Saratoga has much higher quality of restaurant and many more bars. In addition, amenities like cute boutiques and houses, an Amtrak station, a Greyhound Bus depot and a small airport that towns of its size do not generally enjoy. Students can take a free Skidmore bus to and from town periodically through the day. After 11 pm, students can take a free Saratoga Taxi back to campus. Saratoga Springs is also about a 20-30 minute drive from Albany where students can get flights home if they do not live within driving distance. A shuttle to and from the airport is offered for winter break, spring break, and the end of the school year.
Student Government Association
The Skidmore College Student Government Association (SGA) is the governing body of the 100+ student-run clubs and organizations on campus. In addition to being the official liaison between students and the administration, the Skidmore SGA advocates for college policies that benefit the short- and long-term interests of the student body. The SGA is composed of an Executive Committee, an Executive Board, an Inter-Hall Board, a Senate, an Academic Council, a Class Council, and countless other individual students appointed to campus policy committees and adjudicatory bodies.
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", "Twinkletoes: In Theory, In Practice", "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.
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.
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.
It is the breeding ground for such TV shows as Shave Talk and College is HARD.
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.
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.
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, School of Visual Arts, Skidmore, SUNY Binghamton, Swarthmore, Tufts, University of Arizona, University of Maryland, University of Southern California, USC, Vassar,
Wesleyan, William & Mary, and Yale.
Skidmore currently has 5 a cappella groups: 1 all male, 2 co-ed, and 2 female. The Sonneteers, the first of the all female groups, are Skidmore's first and oldest a cappella group--they are having their 60th anniversary in 2007.The Bandersnatchers are the only all male a cappella group on campus. The Dynamics (Dynos) are Skidmore's oldest co-ed a cappella group (Founded in 1995). The Drastic Measures (Drastics) are the newest co-ed a cappella group and are Skidmore's only charity a cappella group. The Accents are 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".
Skidmore plays host to many comedy groups on campus, including the Ad-Liberals, the Sketchies, and Skidomedy. Each adds their own flair to stand-up, Improv, sketch comedy, and various skits. The youtube
sitcom College is HARD is also based out of Skidmore.
Beginning in Fall 2006, most on-campus housing is officially "dry."
Skidmore's intercollegiate athletics program offers some 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. 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 2007 the Womens Field Hockey team was ranked 17th in the nation and made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament before they fell to Babson. In 2008 the Womens and Mens Crew teams were invited to the Eastern Collegiate Athletics Conference in Massachusetts and rounded out the season ranked 10th in the nation. The current Athletic Director is Gail Cummings-Danson. Skidmore also has a very diverse and accomplished athletic staff, including Head Swimming and Diving Coach Jill Belding Greenleaf and Head Women's Soccer Coach Sarah Cooper. Skidmore is a powerhouse for a balance between Academic & Athletic All-Americans.
Skidmore is a member of the Liberty League.
- Barbara Bloom, Senior Vice President, CBS Daytime, CBS Entertainment
- Hessa Al Thani, princess of Qatar
- Lake Bell, actress (attended)
- Rosemary Bourne, first woman mayor of Oyster Bay Cove, NY
- Michael T. Brooks, corporate attorney
- Senator Joseph L. Bruno, New York State Senate Majority Leader (also received an honorary doctorate)
- Eddie Cahill, actor (attended)
- Sallie W. Chisholm, oceanographer
- Karen Levin Coburn, author of bestselling books on parenting, families, and relationships
- Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream (attended)
- Arwa Damon, Middle East correspondent for CNN
- Evan Dando of The Lemonheads (attended)
- Garrett "G. Love" Dutton of G. Love and Special Sauce (attended)
- Nancy Evans, founder of iVillage
- Holter Graham, actor and producer
- Gary Gray, host & producer of The Helmetcam Show
- Mick Grondahl bassist with Jeff Buckley, majored in sculpture
- John Hall, of the Addison Groove Project
- Gay Fiore Hartigan, COO and co-founder of Liberty Healthcare Management
- Darren Herman, founder of IGA Worldwide and named one of BusinessWeek's "25 Best Entrepreneurs Under 25"
- Christian Hillabrant, RVP of T-Mobile
- Heather Hurst, archaeologist and a MacArthur Fellow
- Matt Hyson, a professional wrestler whose stage name is Spike Dudley
- Maxine Isaacs, Walter Mondale's press secretary and Deputy Campaign Manager, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
- Steven Knobel, CEO of Mitchell, Maxwell and Jackson
- Elizabeth LeCompte, cofounder and director of the Wooster Group, and a MacArthur Fellow
- Patrick Maher. American author (attended)
- Scott Martin, producer
- Evan Mast and Mike Stroud of electronic music duo Ratatat
- Eric Masunaga of the Dambuilders
- Molly McGrann, novelist and literary critic
- David Miner, television producer whose projects include 30 Rock, The Tracy Morgan Show, and others
- Grace Mirabella, author and former editor-in-chief of Vogue
- Ryan Morrison, wildlife photographer for the BBC documentary series Planet Earth
- Cal Perry, an international correspondent for CNN based in the network’s Beirut bureau
- Barbara Purcell, author and poet
- Ratatat, musical artists
- Ariana Richards, actress and painter
- Jane Roberts, author and poet
- Walter Schubert, founder and chairman, Gay Financial Network (attended)
- Sybil Shearer, modern dance pioneer and writer
- Hazel Stiebeling, nutritionist and early developer of "daily allowance" guidelines
- Webster Tarpley, author, historian, conspiracy theorist