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Ex-Skidmore president found dead in Saratoga Springs

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Ex-Skidmore president found dead in Saratoga Springs

A retired Skidmore College president was found dead in Saratoga Springs this morning, police said.
Ex-Skidmore president found dead in Saratoga Springs
Bundled up, David Porter, of Saratoga Springs, takes his daily walk down Clement Avenue in Saratoga Springs on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 14, 2016.
Photographer: Erica Miller

Retired Skidmore College president David H. Porter was found dead in Saratoga Springs Saturday morning, according to police.

Porter, 80, was reported missing by his wife, Helen Porter, who last saw him around 8:30 p.m. Friday when she went to bed. She told police it wasn’t uncommon for Porter to take a walk at night.

Police said a searcher found Porter deceased around 10:30 a.m. in a field west of the Birch Run development, between the campus and the Saratoga Golf & Polo Club.

Police said the field where Porter found was close to a walking path Porter regularly used. Porter and his wife lived on Birch Run Lane in the development off Seward Street, just west of Skidmore.

Police said their initial investigation shows no indication of foul play. An autopsy has been scheduled to determine cause of death.

“It is especially painful, in this season of renewal, for the Skidmore community to once more confront the loss of a beloved community member and friend,” Skidmore President Philip A. Glotzbach said Saturday in a statement to the Skidmore community. “Our thoughts go immediately to David’s wife, Helen, their children, and their grandchildren, as they cope with this loss.”

Glotzbach said that details about Porter’s funeral and services have not been finalized. The college, which suffered the death of a student earlier this month, will offer counseling to students and staff.

Porter was Skidmore’s fifth president, joining the college in 1987 and serving 12 years in the post. Glotzbach said in his statement that Porter “greatly enhanced the intellectual life of the campus, helped conceive and plan the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, successfully led the Journey Campaign, which raised nearly $86.5 million (then the largest campaign total in the College’s history), and worked to diversify the College’s student body, faculty, and staff.”

Porter was born in New York City, did undergraduate work at Swarthmore College and received a doctorate in classics from Princeton University. He taught for 25 years at Carleton College in Minnesota and authored several books.

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