The women of the William Smith Class of 2009 gathered on the Hill to celebrate new traditions and treasured memories during the 32nd Alumnae Senior Welcome.
Director of Alumnae Relations Kathy Killius Regan ’82, P’13 kicked off the ceremony by welcoming the seniors into the William Smith alumnae community.
Alumna speaker Susan Flanders Cushman ’98, assistant professor of biology and vice president of the William Smith Alumnae Council, applauded the group of “beautiful, intelligent, engaged sisters” gathered. She encouraged the women to stay connected to one another and to the Colleges, whether through annual Reunions or e-mails.
“Remind yourself to stay in touch and come back often,” she urged. “Hold on tight to your sisters and your memories; they are your treasures.”
In line with Cushman’s words, each member of the class received a handcrafted pine box from the William Smith Alumnae Association along with their Association membership card.
Student speaker and Class President Simone Ver Eecke ’09 stressed the unique sorority of William Smith College. “Our college is a society and a family,” she said. “There is never a moment that I regret choosing this school.”
Ver Eecke also urged her peers to go for their dreams and strive for more than simply what is comfortable. “Comfortable just means ‘boring’ with good PR,” she joked. “After all, a goal out of reach is a goal worth reaching for.”
“You have set the bar high and left a legacy for the William Smith women behind you. I know that you will favorably change our world,” toasted new William Smith Dean Cerri Banks. In honor of the transformative difference that Banks has made to the graduating seniors, they surprised Banks by making her an honorary member of the Class of 2009.
Assistant Director of Annual Giving Skylar Beaver ’08 presented Kelly Stephens with the The Judith Haslam Cross ’52 Award, Shavonne Ward received the Elizabeth Herendeen Odell ’22 Book Award, and Katie Taylor was named class correspondent. Marisa Athas, Katie Baker, Lynn Cutter, Laurabeth McCall, Heather Ogletree, Sarah Paris, Catherine Staats, Kelly Stephens and Cathleen Zupan were named the Class of 2009 Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) representatives.
Members of the Colleges Chorale, Harmonyz with Soul and Three Miles Lost led the assembled seniors and alumnae in a rendition of the alma mater, and Chaplain Lesley Adams closed the ceremony by advising William Smith women to “spend less time worrying and more time trusting.”