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Celebrating campus camaraderie

May 28, 2024
by Tory Abbott

Staff, faculty, and retirees from across campus came together at this year’s Retirement and Recognition Ceremony to enjoy good food, great company, honor colleagues, and celebrate the achievements and milestones of the Skidmore community.  
 
The ceremony, held on Case Green, was led by General Counsel and Vice President for Human Resources Sarah Vero, with Director of Human Resources Julie Delay reading the Recognition of Service Awardees and Thoroughbred Thanks recipients. Vice President for Strategic Planning and Institutional Diversity Joshua Woodfork led the President’s Awards portion of the event, and Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Parker Diggory presented the Memorial Acknowledgements.  
 
President Marc C. Conner, who was leading a travel seminar in Ireland and unable to attend, expressed his gratitude in a video message emailed to campus the morning of the event.  

All of you make Skidmore a great place to work, learn, and grow. I am so grateful for all you've done and continue to do to make our college such a special place. I'm very proud of what we've accomplished this year, and I thank everyone for making such a great year possible.
President Marc C. Conner

The event honored 20 employees who retired during the 2023-24 school year. 
 
Several community members were also recognized as President’s Awards recipients — members of the Skidmore community who have embraced the educational mission and cooperative spirit of the College through their exemplary commitment to personal excellence, campus pride, and community service. 
 
"One of the best things about teaching at Skidmore is seeing our students get to engage and interact with our wonderful community on campus,” said Senior Teaching Professor and Arthur Zankel Executive Director of Arts Administration David Howson, one of the recipients. “Making those connections and building those relationships is so important and personally fulfilling to me, and I'm beyond honored to have been recognized alongside my colleagues for our contributions to the College." 
 
Managing Director of Arthur Zankel Music Center Zhenelle LeBel, a fellow award recipient, echoed Howson’s appreciation for his campus peers. “Sharing a meal and laughs with my colleagues on a sunny day under the trees was indeed a highlight of this year. These gatherings are so encouraging because the camaraderie between faculty and staff is so obvious — we like working together, and it shows!” said LeBel. 
 
Lisa Burke, who served as assistant director of sponsored research and died in 2023, and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life were also recognized.  

Coordinator of Jewish Student Life Martina Zobel and Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Parker Diggory stands beside Sarah Vero, holding the President's Award plaque. Vice President for Strategic Planning and Institutional Diversity Joshua Woodfork stands beside them.

Jewish Student Life Martina Zobel (left) and Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Parker Diggory (center) accepted the President's Award from Vice President for Strategic Planning and Institutional Diversity Joshua Woodfork (right).

We were delighted to have the work of this challenging year honored, it is clear to us both that the support and active participation of our colleagues and particularly the students are the foundation of our accomplishments.
Coordinator of Jewish Student Life Martina Zobel and Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Parker Diggory

The ceremony celebrated an additional 214 current employees for their years of service to Skidmore; Robert Boyers marked an impressive 55 years with the College, while Kevin Lloyd, Peter Sickler, and Kate Berheide were honored for their 45-year commitment. Michael Arnush, Harold Dowen, Dawn Greenlaw, Masako Inamoto, David Peterson, Greg Pfitzer, and Joyce Tighe were among those celebrated for their remarkable 35-year tenure.  

5 years

47 employees

10 years

43 employees

15 years

15 employees

20 years

 19 employees

25 years

 10 employees

30 years

9 employees

35 years

7 employees

45 years

3 employees

55 years

1 employee
 

"What makes Skidmore a wonderful place to learn and work is our people, and the Retirement and Recognition Ceremony provides an annual chance to acknowledge the contributions of every member of our College community," reflected Vero.

"We are so proud of our awardees for their contributions to our campus and hope everyone cherished the opportunity to gather, savor the lovely weather, and appreciate the company of our friends and colleagues on campus."

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