Remembering Claire Corson Skinner

A longtime champion of Interlochen Center for the Arts, Skinner served as a member of the Board of Trustees and generously supported the institution through philanthropy.

Tom Corson and Claire Corson Skinner

Claire Corson Skinner (right) with her father, Tom Corson (left), during the dedication of Corson Park on July 21, 2017.

Interlochen Center for the Arts is deeply saddened to share that Trustee Claire Corson Skinner (IAC/NMC 71) passed away on March 23, 2024. She was 69.

Claire joined Interlochen’s Board of Trustees in 2017, following in the footsteps of her father, the late Life Trustee Tom Corson. During her seven-year tenure, Claire served as Chair of the Audit & Risk Management Committee; Vice-Chair of both the Finance & Budget and the Nominating & Governance committees; and as an active member of several other committees and task forces.

“I’ve leaned on Claire too many times to count over these past seven years,” said Interlochen Center for the Arts President Trey Devey. “During challenging moments, she always led.”

Claire first came to Interlochen in 1971 as a choir and drama student at Interlochen Arts Camp (then the National Music Camp). She played the part of Mrs. Banks in the Camp’s production of Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park and was elected president of her cabin. Skinner also notified her parents of the need for drama scholarships and encouraged them to consider supporting other young artists. She became director of Interlochen’s Alumni Board in 1981.

Over the decades, Claire and her husband Jim served as active participants in the Interlochen community and as generous donors. A lover of musical theatre and dance, Claire made gifts to Interlochen’s programs in those disciplines personally and through the Corson Family Foundation—both for departmental support and student scholarships. The Skinners also supported the Green Lake waterfront revitalization in honor of Claire’s late mother, Dottie Corson. The project included the creation of Corson Park, Dottie’s Deck, and CJ’s Cafe as well as the installation of a beautiful, student-designed bench in memory of Claire’s father, Tom. Claire’s two nieces attended Camp, and the Skinners always connected with their scholarship recipients.

In addition to her role at Interlochen, Skinner had a distinguished professional career. She succeeded her father as CEO and Chairwoman of Coachmen, a position she held until her retirement in 2006. She held a law degree from Notre Dame and a B.F.A. in Journalism/Marketing from Southern Methodist University.

Claire will be lovingly and gratefully remembered by her Interlochen family. Her impact on Interlochen has been extraordinary, and her legacy will be felt by our students for generations to come.