Skidmore College just simultaneously gave its Boston-based alums and Saratoga Springs’ chapter of Red Sox Nation a little agita. For the college’s 108th commencement ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, May 18, at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), Skidmore has chosen legendary New York Yankees Manager, Joe Torre, who was inducted into Cooperstown‘s National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014 and currently serves as Major League Baseball’s Chief Baseball Officer, as one of two commencement speakers.
Torre, who was a nine-time All-Star, the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1971 and has four World Series rings as the Yankees’ skipper, has also been an advocate for children affected by domestic violence, founding a pair of foundations, the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation and Margaret’s Place, that support the cause. He’s also been a public advocate for prostate cancer awareness, having survived the deadly disease in the late ’90s. Torre, who calls Westchester home, has also authored three books, Chasing the Dream: My Lifelong Journey to the World Series, Joe Torre’s Ground Rules for Winners: 12 Keys to Managing Team Players, Tough Bosses, Setbacks and Success and The Yankee Years.
Not to be outdone by Joe “Catcher” Torre, Skidmore’s other commencement speaker will be MIT professor, physicist, social entrepreneur and bestselling author Alan Lightman, who’s known for his wildly popular Einstein’s Dreams.
“Skidmore College is excited to welcome Joe Torre and Alan Lightman to our 108th Commencement exercises,” said Skidmore College President Philip A. Glotzbach, in a statement. (Glotzbach will be stepping down from his position in May 2020.) Glotzbach went on to say: “Mr. Torre’s lifelong pursuit of his passion and service to others is an example for Skidmore students as they contemplate their paths after graduation. Dr. Lightman’s efforts to bridge the sciences and humanities also inspire our Skidmore community. Both embody the meaning of Creative Thought Matters, and we are honored to bestow upon them honorary degrees.”
Skidmore’s faculty commencement speaker will be sociology professor Kristie A. Ford, who serves as the Director of Skidmore’s Center for Leadership, Teaching and Learning. Professor Ford’s academic research focuses on a number of topics, including race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality and social justice education. Professor Ford’s also the Founder of the Intergroup Relations Program at Skidmore.