Polo by Twilight

Skidmore College Hosts 40th Annual Palamountain Scholarship Benefit

On the cover: Nkosingiphile “NK” Nonhlakanipho Mabaso, who graduated from Skidmore in May, rises to receive the sixth Anne T. Palamountain Scholar Award. Photos by Cathy Duffy

UPDATED July 25: According to the organizers: “More than 500 guests celebrated the 40th anniversary of Skidmore College’s Polo by Twilight Palamountain Scholarship Benefit on Tuesday, July 23, at the Saratoga Polo Fields.

“The event, a mainstay of the Saratoga Springs summer calendar, raised $327,560, surpassing last year’s total of $318,286.”

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Skidmore College hosted the 40th annual Polo by Twilight Palamountain Scholarship Benefit at 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, at the Saratoga Polo Association on Bloomfield Road in Greenfield Center.

Proceeds go to the Joseph C. and Anne T. Palamountain Scholarship Fund, which supports financially eligible juniors and seniors with outstanding academic records and co-curricular service. The fund, which honors Skidmore’s late president and his wife, has provided 400 scholarships in the 40 years since Anne Palamountain started the fund in 1979.

Nkosingiphile “NK” Nonhlakanipho Mabaso, who graduated from Skidmore in May, received the sixth Anne T. Palamountain Scholar Award, which is presented to a current or former Palamountain scholar who has demonstrated leadership, service to others and a commitment to the larger good of society.

Mabaso grew up in poverty near Johannesburg, South Africa. Her path toward a brighter future began when she was selected to attend the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls — and continued when she was accepted to Skidmore.

“I thought I was unworthy and so I kept my dreams small and realistic. But then my life changed drastically,” said Mabaso, who majored in sociology with a minor in computer science.

In May, she was also awarded the Everett V. Stonequist Award in Sociology, which recognizes a graduating senior who has shown outstanding interest and achievement in the study of sociology at Skidmore.

Mabaso was a member of Skidmore’s International Student Union, UJIMA, which brings awareness of African, African-American and Caribbean cultures to the campus and neighboring community; Raíces, which promotes awareness about Latinx culture; and the African Heritage Awareness club.

In addition to her studies, Mabaso worked for the Information Technology Help Desk and in the Office of Communications and Marketing. Always eager to share her story and perspective, Mabaso wrote for the Life at Skidmore blog.

“Prospective international students with a similar background to mine could read my stories and see themselves in me,” Mabaso said. “All the odds were stacked against me, and I was not supposed to ever become anything. But here I am, thriving and shining.”

The Polo by Twilight event also included a reception, followed by a silent auction and a gourmet dinner prepared by Skidmore College’s award-winning chefs.

“This benefit is an enduring tribute to the Palamountains’ service and leadership at Skidmore College,” said Philip A. Glotzbach, president of Skidmore College. “Anne championed this event for 35 years. As we commemorate its 40th year, we’re excited to celebrate the legacy that the Palamountain Scholarship Fund has created in making a college education accessible to all students.”

Gallery: Polo by Twilight – Photos by Cathy Duffy

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