The recent Celebrating Excellence Dinner gathered William Smith women together in celebration of this year’s theme, “Women Moving Women Up.”
Three Miles Lost, the Colleges’ all-female a cappella group, opened with a medley of songs and William Smith Associate Dean Lisa Kaenzig described a “tradition of William Smith women being both brave and exceptional.” Dean of William Smith College Suzanne McNally spoke of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, which made it illegal to deny equal funding to female athletes, and encouraged broader interaction among student groups.
Natia Bueno ’14 and Zoe van Nostrand ’14, speaking for the Laurel Society, reinforced the idea of an “interconnected campus.” The Laurel Society, the sophomore and junior honor society, inducted 21 new members amid enthusiastic applause: Amira Abdulkadir ’14, Kristyna Bronner ’14, Natia Bueno ’14, Courtney Cytryn ’14, Aminata Dansoko ’15, Emily Dove ’14, Chelsea Dunay ’14, Chelsea Encababian ’14, Abigail Evans ’14, Emily Fitzgerald ’14, Meghan Gaucher ’14, Melissa Hosek ’14, Aly McKnight ’15, Dona Occhipinti ’14, Vanessa Roach ’14, Danielle Shaw ’14, Hannah Sorgi ’14, Sally Storch ’14, Zoe Van Nostrand ’14, Nicole Zanghi ’14 and Jeanine Cryan’15.
Molly Krifka ’13, the senior speaker, talked about her experience interning at an art museum in Peru over the summer as a recipient of the Salisbury Summer International Internship Stipend. She encouraged her classmates to “never take the faculty for granted. They helped me realize not only the greatness I could do, but also the greatness of the campus itself.”
The first-year speaker, Sarah Hogg ’16, shared how she knew HWS was right for her during her first visit and concluded, “It would be impossible for me to resist a place so great.”
The reading of “Phenomenal William Smith Women,” a poem that some William Smith students adapted a few years ago from a Maya Angelou poem, emphasized the incredible accomplishments of William Smith women, both what they do and who they are.
All women who have maintained a 3.9 or higher cumulative GPA were honored, including five seniors, 12 juniors, and 20 sophomores.
A much-anticipated William Smith cheesecake was greeted by a collective gasp of excitement, after which Three Miles Lost led the gathering in heartily singing the alma mater.
To close the dinner, Chaplain Lesley Adams spoke of “helping to bring to birth each other’s identities, stories, and voices,” encapsulating the theme of Women Moving Women Up.