Along the waters of Seneca Lake on Friday, the Hobart College men in the Class of 2013 began the next chapter of their lives as they were welcomed to join the ranks of alumni during the Hobart Launch at the Bozzuto Boathouse. Following tradition, the graduating seniors were presented with replicas of paddles used by the legendary Seneca Indian warrior Agayentah.
“It is about the last four years here and beyond. Those are the memories and experiences that are about to launch you beyond the Colleges,” keynote speaker Scott Mason ’81, P’13 told seniors. “In fact, leaving the sunny shores of Seneca Lake, on Sunday or Monday, does not mean that you can just leave it all behind and move on, you can’t, and I’m sure you won’t. That’s because Hobart is now part of you and has made its way into your DNA.”
Mason, the father of Andrew Mason ’13, told the Hobart men to look to the future with optimism and to cultivate a long-lasting connection to Hobart College. He said to nurture their connection with the HWS community and to return to campus when possible.
“As alums, you have the opportunity to help shape the future of the Colleges, so my charge to you is to stay engaged,” Mason said. “That’s the important thing, and engagement can take on many forms.”
As part of the Hobart Launch ceremony, Class President Raphael Durand ’13 announced that Darnell Pierce HON’13 was named Honorary Class Member for 2013. “For once, I’m speechless and I thank you for this honor,” Pierce said.
Pierce was inducted in light of his many contributions to the HWS community. He is an area coordinator for Residential Education, resident director of the Higher Education Opportunity Program Summer Institute, serves as a member of the Finger Lakes Leadership Class of 2013, works extensively in sports education, including as club sports coordinator, and track and field head coach. Pierce also serves as an HWS Student organization adviser, serves on the Committee on Fraternal Life, as well as the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network for the Hobart and William Smith community.
In addition, Andrew Oliveira ’13 was elected class correspondent. Also announced as the selected Class Agents were: Sean Peer ’13, Jordan Printup ’13 and Samuel Schneider ’13.
Addressing his fellow Hobart classmates, Matthew Morrobel ’13, the Hobart Launch student speaker, shared insights about the transition that had taken place for the Hobart men during the past four years.
“Every Hobart senior that is present today deserves praise and recognition, and I would like to congratulate each of you for reaching this milestone in life,” Morrobel said. “I think that I speak for my fellow graduates, when I say this is a moment that I have always imagined and will remember for the rest of our lives.”
In light of the milestone, Morrobel encouraged his classmates to remember to live for something greater. He said he was happy to know that his fellow Hobart classmates are men of three key traits: selflessness, consistency and humility.
Encapsulating the Hobart Launch moment, President of the Hobart Alumni Association James B. Robinson ’96 congratulated the Class of 2013 and welcomed them to the Alumni Association. Robinson also said to remember to stay engaged with the Colleges as they go on to lead a life of consequence.
“Stay connected to the part of you that you leave here, stay connected to this place,” Robinson said. “Hobart College doesn’t just happen. It happens because people like you, people like me, and other graduates that you see around you stay connected to this place. They stay connected in ways big and small, and in between. It doesn’t matter how you stay connected, but do stay connected.”
After the presentation, the seniors gathered for a cigar reception, with special Hobart College cigars provided by Bill ’85 and Larry ’92 Sherman, who own Nat Sherman Cigar Company.