The Colgate Scene ON-LINE

New and continuing members of the James B. Colgate Society gathered for this photograph following a January dinner for the Society at the Waldorf-Astoria. Left to right are Wm. Brian Little '64, Dr. Luther W. Brady H'88, Bruce W. Calvert '68, Michael J. Batza '63, Richard T. Cunniff '45, John K. Colgate Jr '57, Harrington E. Drake '41, Van P. Smith '50, and Charles H. Sanford III '58.

Six new members join the
James B. Colgate Society

Two years ago, the college created the James B. Colgate Society to recognize its most generous benefactors -- contributors of $1 million or more over their lifetimes. The society's namesake gave the college its first million-dollar gift in 1891. Over the next 104 years, 21 others gave support that earned them a place in the society. They were recognized, some posthumously, at the society's inaugural dinner in 1995.

By this January, just two years later, when the society convened for its second celebratory dinner, its membership had grown by a half dozen, as six new million-dollar donors had added their names to the rolls. An even hundred of the college's current and former trustees and other leaders, including three former Colgate presidents, gathered in the Louis XVI Suite at the Waldorf-Astoria to mark the occasion.

President Neil R. Grabois (center) with two of the newsest members of the James B. Colgate Society, Bruce W. Calvert '68 and Van P. Smith '50.

Brian Little '64, a charter member of the society and current chairman of the college's board of trustees, was the evening's master of ceremonies. "I don't think there could be a more fitting setting or audience to help us recognize the newest members of the society who will be inducted tonight," he said.

Among the society's new and charter members are Little's three immediate predecessors as board chair -- E. Garrett Bewkes '48, Harrington "Duke" Drake '41, and Van P. Smith '50 -- as well as the current vice chair of the board, Bruce Calvert '68. In recognizing Drake, a charter member of the society, Little noted that Drake chaired The Campaign for Colgate in the 1980s and is honorary chair of the current Campaign Colgate, for which he is also one of 13 donors who have created a $12 million challenge pool to match new and increased gifts to the college.

President Neil R. Grabois read the roll of new society members. Trustee Peter Ackerman '68 has been a leader in giving to the Annual Fund, has provided resources to increase the percentage of Colgate students who receive financial aid, and is one of 13 campaign challengers.

Bewkes's gifts to the college include a scholarship endowment in honor of his father Eugene '19, a revered member of the Colgate faculty who went on to the presidency of St. Lawrence University. Garry Bewkes has also contributed to the Annual Fund and Case Library, and has given the college the family's countryside estate in Hamilton with a house and lake that support both educational and recreational uses.

The members of the
James B. Colgate Society:

*Peter Ackerman '68
Michael J. Batza Jr. '63
*E. Garrett Bewkes Jr. '48
Dr. Luther W. Brady H'88
*Bruce W. Calvert '68
James B. Colgate Posthume
The Colgate Family
George R. Cooley '21 Posthume
Charlotte Cummins
Richard T. Cunniff '45
Henry Curtis Jr. '41
Harrington E. Drake '41
Edgar W. B. Fairchild Posthume
Curtiss E. Frank '25 Posthume
Robert H. N. Ho '56
John W. Lally '48
Wm. Brian Little '64
Harry F. Mariani '59
Olive B. O'Connor Posthume
A. Theodore Persson Jr. '42
Helen K. Persson H'84
Harvey Picker '36
Charles H. Sanford III '58
*Paul J. Schupf '58
*B. Terry Skinner '65
*Van P. Smith '50
Herman Wendt Jr. '27 Posthume
W. Bradford Wiley '32
*inducted 1997

Calvert has served the college as a volunteer in several capacities, including roles in admission and fundraising and membership on the Alumni Corporation's board of directors before becoming a trustee. He has been a challenger both in the Annual Fund and Campaign Colgate, contributing to the Holmes Hartshorne Fund, supporting athletic teams, and adding to endowment with his campaign commitments.

Paul J. Schupf '58 has served two terms on the Colgate board and was one of the top donors to The Campaign for Colgate, creating a challenge that helped establish a presidential discretionary fund. Recently, during Campaign Colgate, he endowed a chair in Far Eastern Studies in memory of his father. "His contribution will provide important support of the college's faculty and will help students learn more about an exciting part of the world," said Grabois.

"Terry Skinner '65 has quietly become one of Colgate's most generous donors," Grabois said. Skinner's first gift to the college will endow support for scholarships. His second gift will likely provide endowment for Native American programs and scholarships.

As then-chair of the Colgate board, Smith also chaired Campaign Colgate at its launch. "You have backed your encouragement for support from others with your own generous contributions," Grabois said. Smith, too, was an Annual Fund and campaign challenger. He funded the Norman J. Burtt '44 Scholarship Fund, supported construction of the Sanford Field House, helped the college meet a foundation challenge, and has given to the university endowment.

Little used the occasion of the dinner to recognize some of the others who led Colgate in the past and are providing leadership today. Of the three former Colgate presidents who attended -- Vincent Barnett (1963-69), Thomas Bartlett (1969-77), and George Langdon (1978-88) -- Little said, "Their presence this evening confirms what we knew when they were on the payroll: that they care deeply about Colgate."

Of his successor as chair of Campaign Colgate, John Golden '66, Little said, "He is known for his energetic spirit and dedicated interest in helping Colgate." Little also recognized two of Golden'sm vice chairs on the campaign, Lorie Slutsky '75 and John Runnette '54. Their efforts and those of other volunteers had led the campaign to its total of $111 million at the time of the dinner, Little said.

As the evening concluded Little noted that some business still re-mained. "Each of us has an important role to play in the new year and the years beyond," he said. "We are those who know Colgate best, and can influence others to join us in advancing Colgate's educational enterprise."