Skidmore Gets Reprieve on Eve of Season

A $2.5 million donation to the college’s athletics program has preserved men’s hockey at Skidmore.

A group of alumni, parents and friends launched a fundraising effort in September after the college announced that budget constraints would force the elimination of men’s hockey after the 2003-04 season, and the use of the those resources for other sports.

“In less than two months, these alumni and parents have raised a substantial amount of funding, showing their loyalty to Skidmore, as well as their commitment to the College’s future,” said Skidmore president Philip A. Glotzbach. “And I see this as only the start. Most important to me is that this development will allow us to improve the athletic experience for our entire community.”

According to the college, the new funds will enable Skidmore to achieve all of the goals it had targeted in its restructuring while keeping the men’s hockey program intact. Included is additional funding for women’s soccer, tennis, volleyball, softball, and lacrosse, and the upgrade of some part-time coaching positions to full-time.

“The initial decision to restructure our athletics program was difficult but, from our perspective at that time, it was the correct and necessary step,” said Glotzbach. “The decision to proceed on the basis of new funding is much easier.”

The new funds raised by the group will serve as a foundation for a new “Friends of Skidmore Athletics” program. In addition to fundraising, the new organization will create an athletics hall of honor on campus and serve as an advisory group to the development of Skidmore athletics.

Paul Dion, who has coached Skidmore in its transition from a club team to Division III, was the 2003 ECAC East coach of the year, and is one win shy of 200 for his career. Skidmore begins its season this weekend, hosting Williams on Friday.