Sports Center named for longest-serving trustee

Posted by Audrey Nelson

Over Celebration Weekend, Skidmore's Sports Center went under a transformation. On Saturday, Oct. 16, the College named its sports center in honor of trustee Susan Kettering Williamson '59, L.H.D. '98.

Williamson is Skidmore's longest serving trustee of nearly four decades, joining the board in 1971. Co-chairwoman of the successful "Creative Thought Bold Promise" capital campaign, she offered to increase her donation by $1 million if at least 10,000 donors contributed a gift of any size. In fact, the campaign received 11,215 contributions.

Athletics Director Gail Cummings-Danson, President Philip Glotzbach and President Emeritus David Porter honored her philanthropy and service to the College. Cummings-Danson described Williamson as a "trail blazer," and the Williamson Center as a "place for all things movement."

The center, built in 1982 and expanded in 1994, provides gymnasiums, training rooms, swimming and diving facilities, courts and support facilities for the varsity athletics teams, intramural sports and Skidmore members who benefit from the fitness and recreation facilities.

The center also houses classrooms, faculty offices and research space for the College's Health and Exercise Science Department.

Noting the dedication of the sports center as a natural choice, President Philip Glotzbach praised Williamson as a trustee who "has long championed the importance of educating students to live a full life, one that addresses the needs of the mind, the spirit and the body."

At the end of the ceremony, President Glotzbach invited Williamson and her family to witness the unveiling of the plaque at the podium, placed appropriately in front of the new Williamson Sports Center.

President Emeritus David Porter spoke of the extent of Williamson's benevolent contributions to the College. Sharing anecdotes of time spent with the Williamson family during his presidency, Porter recalled the Williamson donation, which at the time was the largest in the College's history.

Thanking Williamson and the value of her "quiet strength, judgment and balance" to the College's board of trustees, Porter spoke of the Kettering scholarships, funded by the Kettering Fund and the Kettering family.

Not only have her contributions benefitted students, but Williamson's part in funding the David H. Porter Chair has also helped professors who have held it.

Referencing the recently completed Creative Thought Bold Promise campaign, Porter called Williamson, alongside co-chairwomen Wilma "Billie" Stein Tisch '48 and Sara Lee Lubin Schupf '62, one of the "three Graces" of the campaign. "Lucy Scribner would be so ticked to have three powerful, wonderful women heading the campaign," he said.

The center has already installed its new entrance, while the plaque will be installed in the sport center's lobby.

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