On Sunday evening in Bristol Gym, the new William Smith women in attendance at the William Smith Dean’s Welcome Dinner declared with a resounding “Yes!” that they were here, while up the hill in Winn-Seeley Gym each new Hobart man was individually called forth to accept his matriculation certificate and pin at the John Henry Hobart Dinner.
Prior to their respective dinners, students spent the day getting to know their new home. The first-year students spent their morning talking with upper-class students about the diverse and unique culture of the Colleges. The afternoon brought with it Pizza Wars and an introduction to the campus’ rich religious life with an ice cream social hosted by Chaplain Lesley Adams and the Peer Campus Ministry.
Hobart kicked off the night with a nearly 200-year-old matriculation ceremony, where Dean of Hobart College and Professor of Philosophy Eugen Baer P’95, P’97, HON’07 advised students, “Leave your mark on this institution. We ensure that we will leave our mark on you – every individual.”
Reading off the names of the newly matriculating Hobart students was William Warder ’96, senior associate director of admissions. Apart from receiving tokens of their matriculation, the newest members of the College also touched Agayentah’s paddle – a Hobart tradition performed in remembrance of a Seneca warrior. The paddle is a constant, concrete reminder of the past.
In his address, Director of Alumni Relations Jared Weeden ’91 expounded on the extensive alumni network of more than 11,000 alumni. President of Hobart Student Government Andrew Oliveira ’13 urged his fellow Hobart students to remember that they only had a short amount of time to spend at Hobart, saying, “You only have four years so make the most of them.”
Down the hill at Bristol Gym, William Smith First-Year Dean Lisa Kaenzig gave her first bit of advice to the Class of 2015, citing a poster that hangs in her office – a poster that has helped eight years of first years – that says, “This too shall pass.” Commenting on the short-lived nature of both good times and bad, she urged the Class of 2015 to embrace the best times and remember that the bad moments would eventually end.
Director of Alumnae Relations Kathy Regan ’82, P’13 called to mind the sisterhood of 3,900 William Smith alumnae, encompassing graduates from 1932 to 2011 and ages 22 to 102. Recalling her experience as a student, Regan urged, “When the going gets tough, remember that your sisters are here for you.” President of William Smith Congress Kaylyn O’Brien ’12 spoke of her struggle to pack her speech with the secrets she had learned over the past three years, finally concluding, “The mistakes I made helped me to become the woman I am today. Take a leap and build your wings on the way down.”
Before adjourning for a night of preparing for classes and meeting their upper-class hallmates, President Mark D. Gearan noted the Colleges’ tradition of excellence and commitment, urging students, “Take advantage of the opportunities at Hobart and William Smith. Maximize your experience here.”
In the photo above, Acting Dean of William Smith College Susanne McNally addressees the first-year women.