Skidmore is a northeast liberal arts schools that started as an all-female college. In 1903, Lucy Skidmore Scribner chartered a club under the name “Skidmore School of Arts,” which aimed to educate young women from the Saratoga Springs area. In 1922, it officially became a four year liberal arts college.
The 1960s ushered in a wave of changes for Skidmore, including a brand-new campus (Jonsson Campus) on the edge of Saratoga. This new campus was named after former Skidmore student Erik Jonsson, the founder of Texas Instruments. In 1971, the college began admitting men.
In 2006, Skidmore embarked on a new campaign to raise funds: “Creative Thought. Bold Promise.” The goal is to raise over $200 million.
The Skidmore campus spans more than 850 acres. Because Skidmore moved in 1960, the majority of campus buildings are relatively new. Located just a mile from downtown Saratoga Springs, Skidmore’s campus buildings are designed to "blend with the wooded surroundings." Though the buildings are in a contemporary style, the campus architects have also borrowed from the area’s famous Victorian architecture. Murals, sculptures, and a variety of contemporary art adorns many of the campus's buildings and open spaces.
The Tang Art Museum is Skidmore’s renowned arts facility, featuring more than 4,500 works by Goya, Lichtenstein, and others. Many student and professional sculptures are scattered around the campus, and it’s not difficult to stumble across a piece of art in any part of Skidmore. The Saisselin Art Building houses multiple studios for various disciplines, including animation, ceramics, communication design, drawing, fibers, metals, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Skidmore is in the process of building a state-of-the-art music facility to replace its current one. The Lucy Scribner Library, named after the school’s founder, contains half a million volumes.
There are multiple theater spaces that host student productions each year, and Falstaff's hosts a variety of student and visiting musical acts in an intimate setting. Many students complain that the athletic facilities could use a few retouches.
Most of Skidmore’s campus is made up of the North Woods, a 530-acre forest with phenomenal hiking and bike trails reaching up to the bottom of the Adirondacks.
Lo-Yi Chan, an apprentice of the famous architect I. M. Pei, has been commissioned to create Skidmore's next major Campus Plan.
Saratoga Springs is a city of about 26,000 in upstate New York. The city is famous for its spas and the “country’s oldest Thoroughbred racetrack” (which still draws hundreds of people to the city during race season). It’s also famous for being the site (or the site 15 miles northwest of the site) of the Battle of Saratoga, the turning point in the Revolutionary War.
During the summer, big-city arts events come to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, including the New York City Ballet and Philadelphia Orchestra. In its day, the Saratoga Grand Union Hotel was the largest hotel in the world. Beekman Street in Saratoga is sort of an “art district,” with a sizable population of artists, as well as galleries, events, and artist co-ops. Yaddo, a 400-acre artists’ community, has hosted writers such as Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, and David Sedaris over the years.
Skidmore students generally mesh well with the small-city life in Saratoga. The city offers all the necessary amenities in addition to some phenomenal restaurants, bars (one of the highest “bars-per-capita” cities in the country), and decent nightlife. Students find very little to complain about in Saratoga Springs.
Junior Ring is a November dance event held off-campus and sponsored by the entire junior class.
Mr. Skidmore is a school-wide pageant held for the Skidmore men.
What began as DIVA Night - a chance for students to cross-dress, strip, drink excessively, and generally go insane - recently was shut down by the administration, who claimed they were tired of sending so many underage students to the health center.
Mick Grondahl (1980) played bass for Jeff Buckley.
Elizabeth LeCompte (1968) founded the Wooster Group, a renowned experimental theater company. Her directing work has won her numerous awards and grants.
Ratatat (2001) is an electro/rock band made up of Skidmore grads
Ariana Richards (2002) is an actress and painter. She played Lex in the Jurassic Park films.
Players from 12 Skidmore Thoroughbred teams qualified for regional or national honors, and over 95 student athletes earned Liberty League honors, in the 2003-2004 season.
In 2005, the Skidmore men's baseball and lacrosse teams won their conference championships and appeared for the first time in the NCAA Tournament.
The S.S. Skidmore Victory is a World War II victory ship named after Skidmore College.
Seabiscuit and Billy Bathgate shot scenes around Skidmore College, featuring some students as extras
Skidmore's summer theater program with SITI Company is world-famous, attracting distinguished guests from all over
Skidmore typically gets raves for housing options. The housing is divided into North and South, with equal options on both sides. Skidmore has nine on-campus residence halls. All students have the option to live on campus. The college recently constructed the North Woods Apartments, which can hold up to 380 people and are available to juniors and seniors. Scribner Village contains the oldest apartments on campus - they’re available to most students, except incoming freshmen. They house between four and seven people, and many have interest-based themes (art, music, etc). The dorm rooms at Skidmore are known for being quite large, beautiful, and amenity-laden. All North Quad dorms have air-conditioning, and every room on campus has a window seat.
Most residence halls are arranged in suite style with three or four bedrooms sharing one common bathroom. All suites are single-sex. Coed housing can be found in Wiecking Hall, the only hall-style building on campus. Scribner Village and North Woods apartments are also coed.