Skin in the game. An expression that was being used so often that William Safire devoted a 2006 New York Times “On Language” column to “fleshing” out its meaning and origins. He begins with the questions of exactly whose skin is it and what’s the game.
“The skin in this case is a synecdoche for the self, much as “head” stands for cattle and “sail” for ships. The game is the investment, commitment or gamble being undertaken.”
A college education is a gamble, the returns of which are far from certain. It’s a gamble undertaken by many – not only the prospective college student but also those who financially contribute to the undertaking, and the communities that might benefit from it.
A few weeks ago, the Daly Fund trustees met and selected 22 Daly scholarship recipients. To assure fairness and likelihood of college success, the trustees used a process whereby students were selected based on a weighted formula that combined SAT scores and overall high school grade point averages. The trustees only saw the ranked composite scores; they did not know the names of the recipients until they determined how far down the list they could fund scholarships.
Bernard Daly’s gift to Lake County was very generous and his gift inspired others to also be generous. There are so many examples I’m not sure where to start. An early example is Burt Snyder. Burt came to Lakeview from Plush in the early 1900’s and went to work at Thornton’s Drugstore. Burt wanted to become a pharmacist and Mr. Thornton helped him enroll in a correspondence course. When he completed the course, Burt traveled to Portland in 1910 to take the apprentice pharmacist exam. The journey took him two days by stage to Klamath Falls and then another day and a half to Portland by train. He got his license and returned to Lakeview to work for Vinton Hall and Fred Reynolds. In 1912, Burt bought out Dr. Hall’s interest and the store became known as Snyder and Reynolds.