After a day teeming with new experiences, members of the Classes of 2014 were officially welcomed by President Mark D. Gearan on Stern Lawn. Trustee Dr. Richard L. Wasserman ’70, Dean Cerri Banks, Dean Eugen Baer, Provost and Dean of the Faculty Teresa Amott, and Orientation Coordinators Chris Bramwell ’11 and Kate Coley ’11 also joined in inviting the new students and their families to the HWS family.
Gearan spoke of the power of an idea, a theme that will be explored throughout the academic year with the help of speakers who have brought an idea to life. Gearan, the former director of The Peace Corps, was struck by the power of President John F. Kennedy’s idea for the agency.
“It was a simple idea – send Americans around the world to promote peace and friendship,” said Gearan. “But from that concept evolved some of the very best spirit and international development work of our country.”
On Wednesday, Sept. 1, the Colleges will welcome current Director of the Peace Corps Aaron Williams to campus to give the Convocation address and receive the President’s Medal.
Wasserman articulated the ways in which Hobart and William Smith Colleges instill in its students the notion that ideas can change the world – by making connections between different courses of study, aiding students in initiating change, and helping students look at the world from a multitude of perspectives.
“You are entering an environment that is designed to help you succeed – take advantage of that,” Wasserman encouraged. “Explore new areas, try new things and don’t be afraid to fail; we’ll be there for you.”
Provost and Dean of Faculty Teresa Amott also stressed the importance of active learning on campus. She detailed the achievements of the faculty, but went on to stress that learning is continual. “The unknown is far greater than what is known. Therefore, we invite students to learn with the faculty, together as partners,” Amott said.
Bramwell and Coley challenged students. “Take a chance. Join a club, improve the community, study abroad, play a sport, learn a new language, or take a course that you may think you have no interest in,” said Bramwell. “Whatever it is you chose to do, do it to the best of your ability because the chances you take now may lead to newer and better experiences.”