After a weekend full of activities that helped first-year and transfer students get acquainted with the Hobart and William Smith community, the men and women of the Classes of 2017 celebrated their matriculation with dinners hosted by the Deans’ offices.
For Hobart students, Dean Eugen Baer P’95, P’97, HON’07 opened the traditional matriculation ceremony on the steps of Coxe Hall, watching the men walk across the stage, and touch the paddle of the Seneca Warrior Agayentah, whose oar serves a reminder of the past.
“College is a new life. It takes place in both body and mind,” he said. “You will have four falls and four springs to take you to the portal of your professional life; do not waste your time. Use every minute to take you closer to your goals.”
Prior to the adjournment to the Vandervort Room for the John Henry Hobart Dinner, Hobart First Year Dean David Mapstone ’93 discussed the significance of being a Statesman. “Our mission is about developing men of character. You’ll find constant reminders of our mission through the actions of our alumni and your fellow students,” he said.
William Smith students congregated in front of the JPR residence halls before walking to Bristol Gym for the William Smith Dean’s Welcome Dinner. There, William Smith Associate Dean Lisa Kaenzig noted the significance of the 100-year-old event – one of the oldest traditions of William Smith College. She called on the new women of William Smith to get involved.
“This is a fresh start, a time to meet new people, stay connected with those who are already important to you, and forge ahead into this wonderful college experience, Kaenzig said.
In opening her address, William Smith Dean Susanne McNally asked students to turn off their phones and place them in the middle of the table. She then invited them to “be here.”
“We are here at a school committed, in the words of our founder William Smith himself, to educating young women toward ‘an abundant life!’ So my first message to you today is this. I urge you to really be here at William Smith College,” she said.
McNally explained the many ways William Smith women celebrate their heritage and accomplishments, including the Women Moving Women Up program. She expressed her pride at how much William Smith College does, whether helping local women or women from other countries.
“I encourage you to loosen your hold on your past for a little while. Try to be open and alert to ‘here,’ to your surroundings, and to each other, in all your delightful diversity of interests and backgrounds and taste in shoes and music. I urge you to extend this first phase of college as long as possible. Stay present to this natural world, which offers itself so pleasingly to us, present to the challenge of new ideas that will start coming at you in a downright blizzard, and also, especially, stay present to each other, because you are exceptional young women who will learn as much from each other as from us,” McNally said.
During the evening, President Mark D. Gearan addressed students from both colleges. He shared with students the expectations the Colleges hold for them in the areas of academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and engagement with the campus and Geneva communities.
“Since 1822 men have come to Geneva, N.Y., from around the country and around the world to enroll at Hobart College,” he told the gathering of men. “They have arrived here and taken advantage of this place and have gone on to many extraordinary careers and serve as a force for good in our world.”
He also shared a message with William Smith students. “You have been selected with confidence for your ability to succeed here. Our expectations of you begin this evening.”
Each class also heard from their respective alum association representative including Assistant Vice President of Alumnae Relations and the National Regional Network Kathy Killius Regan ’82, P ’13 and Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Jared Weeden ’91. They also heard from their respective student government presidents, Tyler Shepard ’15 and Alysa Sadkin ’15, and each dinner concluded with a performance by an a cappella group, Hobartones and Three Miles Lost. Chaplain Lesley Adams addressed each gathering.