Alan Rashkind '69, Samuel E. "Skip" Vichness '69
and Robert Lindgren
Samuel E. “Skip” Vichness ’69 was presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award by R-MC’s
Society of Alumni in a ceremony at the annual Homecoming Awards Luncheon on October
19, 2012. Robert Lambeth ’71 presented the award.
The Society of Alumni created the Distinguished Alumnus Award to honor those alumni
who have achieved wide recognition through contributions made to society through
their chosen professions.
Vichness earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Randolph-Macon College
in 1969. While at R-MC, he was a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi and Omicron Delta Kappa.
Vichness also holds a Ph.D. in European History from Florida State and was a member
of their faculty until 1975, when he began working full-time in the camping industry.
Over the years he progressed from a camp counselor to his current role as senior
partner of the management company Quality Camping Properties, Inc., and president
of GreyPine, LLC, where he oversees camping operations, both day and resident camps,
throughout the northeastern United States. Through his current holdings, Vichness
is one of the largest camp operators in the United States. He is recognized as an
expert in the field, and has been a speaker at professional conferences throughout
the United States, Canada, Israel, and the former Soviet Union.
Vichness has received numerous prestigious awards and held a variety of leadership
positions in the camping profession. Recently, he completed a five-year term as
the chairman of the Foundation for Jewish Camp. The Foundation is the umbrella organization
for 150 non-profit, Jewish-sponsored camps in North America. Under his leadership,
the Foundation received commitments for over $100 million dollars in grant funding.
Vichness also established the Harbor Haven Day Camp which, in the past 15 years,
has become the premier operation in the state of New Jersey dealing with special
needs children. Additionally, he was the founding chair of the Ben Appelbaum Foundation,
an entrepreneurial incubator, providing mentoring and start-up assistance to a wide
range of enterprises including more than 20 projects in the New York metropolitan
area. He also helped to create the Morry Project. This is a camping program for
disadvantaged youth, which has been recognized as one of the leading programs of
its kind in the country.
In addition to his other professional and philanthropic endeavors, Vichness also
shares his time, talent and resources with Randolph-Macon. He has served on the
college’s Board of Trustees since 2010, and he and his wife, Ilana, have generously
established the Gert and Jules Vichness Scholarship Fund and the Israeli Study Fund,
which provides financial support for students studying abroad in Israel during J-term.
Vichness was also the guest speaker at the 2012 Homecoming Awards Luncheon, which
was held on October 19, 2012 in the Alumni Gym. His topic was “You went where…you
Randolph-Macon College is grateful to Vichness for all that he does for the community
and for R-MC.