With eagerness and enthusiasm, the Classes of 2017 have arrived in Geneva to begin their first day of Orientation at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Throughout the morning, they acquainted themselves with campus, met roommates and unpacked – and following in tradition – shook hands with President Mark D. Gearan and Mary Herlihy Gearan on the steps of Coxe Hall.
Together, the classes represent 640 students from 29 states and 13 countries, and are the most culturally diverse of group of first-year students in the Colleges’ history. The incoming classes also have the most legacy students, 123 in all.
They are academically gifted and well-rounded, an impressive group of students comprised of valedictorians, student government leaders, team captains, volunteers and scholarship recipients. They have their sights on the opportunities that await them.
“Everything has been fun and very nice so far,” said Kayleigh Buffington ’17, of Big Flats, N.Y. “I’m very excited to meet my academic adviser.”
Standing with her parents along the edge of The Quad, Buffington said she looks forward to beginning her studies and has a particular interest in health professions.
Traveling with his parents to Geneva from San Diego, Calif., Jonny Neal ’17 said he’s looking forward to playing on the Hobart ice hockey team, a sport he has enjoyed throughout his life, including leagues in Rochester, N.Y., and Toronto, Canada.
“I’m excited to join the Hobart tradition and it will be nice to settle in and meet new people,” Neal said.
While Neal and other student-athletes arrived early to campus, other students and families were just arriving in Geneva for Orientation on Friday.
Hannah Brooks ’17, of South Deerfield, Mass., said there’s much she’s looking forward to about her first-year experience.
“It will be nice to make new friends and take classes that weren’t available in high school,” she said. “I’m also looking forward to living on my own for the first time.” Brooks said she has an interest in international relations and global justice, but is excited about exploring her options.
Gillian Smith, of Scarsdale, N.Y., is a transfer student and very interested in art. She said the faculty and facilities impressed her during a recent visit.
Waiting with his parents to shake hands with President Gearan, Bryan Quezada ’17, of Los Angeles, Calif., said it is the perfect day for Orientation and he’s already had the opportunity to meet several other students, including a few from his home city.
Quezada said he’s looking forward to expanding his network of friends and discovering more about his academic interests. “It will be great to look at my academic options,” Quezada said. “For today, everything is going smoothly. It’s great.”
Seun Adetola ’17, of Bethany, Conn., said he’s interested in business, but like Quezada, also would like to expand his academic horizons.
“Everyone here is very friendly and I’m looking forward to getting started,” he said.