Attendees of Reunion 2011 did not let a little rain stop them as they started the morning with a bang. Led by a marching band and the Classes of 1961 donning skimmer hats and green sashes, alums gathered for a procession that wound down Pulteney Street and through the Quad.
“When I’m out walking on campus, my college experience comes back to life,” said Leslie Webster ’75, as she joined her classmates in the traditional parade.
Under the large tent set up on the Quad, the more than 800 alums in attendance enjoyed lunch and good company. Hailing from 33 states and as far across the globe as Australia, the alumni and alumnae watched with pride as their classmates were given citations for their dedication to the Colleges and class reunion gifts to the Annual Fund were presented.
“This forum provides us with an opportunity to recognize the extraordinary level of service that so many of our alumni and alumnae have given to Hobart and William Smith,” remarked Director of Alumnae Relations Kathy Regan ’82, P’13.
Celebrating their 50th class reunion, the Classes of 1961 presented a gift of $1,770,731 with an astonishing participation rate of more than 70 percent. Presented by Jane Tuthill Chapman ’61, P’91, Malcom Goodridge’61, P’94, Trustee Thomas Poole P’91, L.H.D. ’06 and Judy Matejka Reichler’61, P’94, the classes also received this year’s Founder’s Cup for achieving the highest giving percentage during their reunion year.
Carolyn Smith Wooster ’06 and Peter Hammond ’06, on behalf of the Classes of 2006, presented President Mark D. Gearan with a gift check in the amount of $28,124, exceeding their goal and breaking the 5th reunion record for the Annual Fund.
The Classes of 2001 raised $5,571 this year for the Annual Fund. Gregg Snyder ’01 and Courtinay Casey ’01 presented a check for $29,860 on behalf of their classmates.
Steve Hubbard ’91 and Laura Lorusso Peterson ’91, representing the Classes of 1991, presented a check for $80,781 as their class gift, thanks to the generosity of 28 percent of their classmates. This year, they exceeded their goal of $15,000, contributing a total of $16,919 to the Annual Fund.
The Classes of 1996, represented by JB Robinson ’96 and Melissa Golen ’96, presented a class gift of $101,493. The classes raised $19,341 this year.
Dave Menges ’86 and Christy Walter Weppler ’86, along with nearly 30 percent of their classmates of 1986 exceeded their goal of $35,000 this year, raising an impressive $44,603. Their 25th reunion gift totaled $385,500.
The Classes of 2011 achieved the most successful Senior Gift drive in the Colleges’ history totaling 74 percent of the graduating classes and $11,717. Because these recent graduates passed the 70 percent mark for participation, Board Chair David Deming ’75 matched their gift. Kelly Biggs ’11 and Drew Shumway ’11 presented the total check for $23,434. The pair thanked Deming for his generosity and his commitment to the Classes of 2011 and HWS.
The 40th Reunion Gift totaled $423,042 with an impressive 45 percent of the Classes of ’71 donating $48,656 this year. Roland Misarti ’71 and Nancy Nowak Rutherford ’71 presented a check on behalf of their Classes.
Susan Goedecke Zellweger and Trustee Herbert McCooey’76, P’04, P’09 along with 35 percent of the Classes of 1976, raised $85,832 this year and presented a generous Reunion gift of $1,128,599.
Brad Williams ’81 and Elizabeth Holly Adam ’81 presented a reunion gift of $1,440,448. This year, the Classes of 1981 saw more than 40 percent of their classmates participate and gave $101,757 to the Annual Fund, breaking the record for the highest Annual Fund total for the 30th reunion.
Presented by Sharlene Schmidt Vichness ’66 and Bill Guardenier ’66, the Classes of 1966 raised 86,488 this year alone, breaking the record for the largest annual fund gift given by a class celebrating their 45th reunion. More than 46 percent of the Classes donated a total of $1,754,639 this year.
Director of Alumni Relations Jared Weeden ’91 also presented citations to Hobart alumni whose contributions to the campus have been innumerable and truly integral to the growth and prosperity of the Colleges. This year’s Alumni Association Citations were given to Scott Mason ’81, P’13 Tom Connor ’81, McCooey and Jim Farrell ’66. The Young Alumnus Award was presented to Jeremy Cushman ’96.
Trustee Thomas B. Poole ’61, P’91, L.H.D. ’06 was presented with the Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Service for his steadfast dedication to the Colleges. “Thank you for thinking of me as someone who would return so much to a school that has done so much for me,” remarked Poole, who celebrated his 50th Reunion this weekend. “When you’re dedicated to something you can never quit. I’ve never quit – that is what HWS has done for me. I promise I will never leave HWS.”
Regan presented citations for William Smith women who have put their hearts and time into giving back to their alma mater. The Alumnae Association presented Jane Tuthill Chapman ’61, P’91, Margaret Bokan Greenawalt ’66, Carol Brown Laufer ’71 and Anne Doyle ’86 with citations. Courtinay Casey ’01 was given the Young Alumna Award.
Trustee Katherine D. Elliott ’66, L.H.D. ’08 was bestowed the William Smith Centennial Bowl for her generous support of the Colleges. Celebrating her 45th reunion, Elliott reflected on the pride she feels as the first William Smith alumna to have a building, the Katherine D. Elliott Studio Arts Center, named in her honor. “The Colleges have been a truly amazing place for me and so many others,” said Elliott reflecting on her efforts to give back throughout the years.
The Classes of 2006 and the Classes of 1961 were also awarded with trophies for their attendance at Reunion 2011. The Class of 2006, celebrating their 5th reunion, had the highest attendance for a William Smith class with 31 percent returning to campus. The Hobart Class of 1961, those on campus for their 50th reunion, had more than 26 percent of their class joining them.
“This is a great celebration of the tremendous accomplishments of the past year – a terrific testament to the people who are an integral part of the history and future of these Colleges,” said Weeden.