As an avid academic and an athlete, I would like to express my gratitude to Sun Valley for the wide array of recreational and intellectual enrichment that it makes accessible to the community. Whether through the wonderful Writers’ Conference, San Francisco Ballet or yoga at the base of Baldy, Sun Valley offers seemingly unlimited opportunities to enrich mind, body and soul.
In my professional life as a college professor of literature, as well as my personal life as a competitive athlete (figure skating, tennis and golf), I am stimulated each summer by Sun Valley’s ideal blend of academic and athletic wonders. Whether listening to a scintillating lecture by Fareed Zakaria, playing a twilight round of golf at Bigwood or skating with the stars, I feel recharged and rejuvenated each and every summer. Come September, I bring back this inspiration to the classroom through my work with undergraduates in courses like American Sports Stories, which looks to U.S. literature as a way to understand sport and vice versa. When my students read Hemingway, I share with them how he composed “For Whom the Bell Tolls” from the Lodge overlooking the iconic ice arena. When Austrian Count Felix Schaffgotsch, whom Averell Harriman hired to discover a destination ski resort in the U.S., gazed up at the mountains, he noted of the potential paradise: “This [place] combines the more delightful features of any place I have seen.” Harriman certainly would be thrilled with the actualization of his dream.
Cara Erdheim Kilgallen, Sun Valley / Trumbull, Ct.