As seniors begin their final academic year at the Colleges, Stewardson Society tri-chairs Kieran Grogan ’14, Kelsey Landers ’14 and Perry Ostheimer ’14 are already hard at work, brainstorming ways to help the Classes of 2014 reach beyond a 77 percent giving participation rate.
“The Stewardson Society is not about dollars, but about participation,” says Ostheimer. “I’ve had an amazing three years here, and I have truly grown into an adult; Hobart and William Smith have given so much to me. Now I want to give back.”
This year, the Stewardson Society goal is to reach 80%, a higher participation level than any of the previous class years, with each senior donating a $20.14 in order to join in the giving society.
The society hosted its first event on Sunday, Sept. 15, a kickball tournament held on Stiles Field. All participants must be members of the Stewardson Society.
“I think that it is events like this, that are both unifying and fun, exemplify what Stewardson is about,” says Landers.
Perry hopes that over the course of the next semester, students will take the time to reflect on all that they have gained during their time at the Colleges. “It is important that the Classes of 2014 know that their money is integral for future classes to experience all that they have,” says Ostheimer. “These experiences that they’ve gain – professors, friends, athletics, study abroad – would not be possible without contributions from alums.”
Members will be tabling in Scandling Campus Center throughout the semester, and gifts can be made online at www.hws.edu/srgift. Seniors who might not have cash or a check immediately on hand may also request that the $20.14 gift be deducted from their on-campus pay check.
As the committee meets at the start of the semester, the co-chairs foresee a year jam-packed with other events, appealing to a wide range of students. “We hope to sponsor at least one event a month,” says Landers. “These events will serve as a fun and great way to get the word out early in the academic year – and so that students see that there are many great reasons to join.”
Named for the first president of the combined Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the Stewardson Society brings together members of the senior classes to present a gift to the Colleges in honor of their impending graduation. This tradition, which began in the 1980s, unites the seniors with the alums who have preceded them and supported their experience while also connecting them to the current students who follow.