Lake to Lake Women will celebrate National Women’s History Month by honoring Dean of William Smith College and Professor of History Susanne McNally for her many years of local volunteer service, including her support of Geneva’s youth, the local food system, migrant worker families and music.
The event will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, at the Geneva Country Club. Formerly the Geneva Business and Professional Women, Lake to Lake Women is a local group dedicated to women and helping them succeed.
During a 42-year career at HWS, and in addition to her work as dean and professor, McNally has been an actively engaged community member, including as a parishioner at Trinity Church in Geneva. Over the years, she has supported the Trinity Afterschool Academic Program, which has cultivated success for many children in Geneva. In addition, she also sings in the church choir, serves on the Vestry and on committees.
Her volunteer service also includes extensive work for Heifer Project International, assisting with local summer opera – doing costuming and stage sets, as well as recruiting volunteer singers, dressers and ushers. She has volunteered as a guest teacher in Geneva schools from third grade to high school, teaching about sustainable farming in China and world hunger. McNally has also cooked at the local Community Lunch Program many times.
Through her service, McNally also supports local migrant workers with holiday collections at Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving, whether it’s collecting frozen turkeys for meals or purchasing holiday candy for farmworker children. As an active participant and expert in the local food movement, she requires her students to engage in the local food system as volunteers who learn while working. McNally also volunteers for the Geneva Historical Society, including running the corn sheller for Johnson Days at the Johnson Farms near Rose Hill Mansion.
She has a love for music, often singing in the Geneva Community Chorus, and hosting musicians and sing-alongs in her home. She also sings in the graveyard with her friends in the Historic District Neighborhood block and porch parties.
At HWS, McNally has served in the Office of the Provost and on the Committee on Standards and Academic Affairs. She has led semesters abroad in China, Russia and Ireland. Being a longtime history professor, she also has taught interdisciplinary programs, including women’s studies, Russian area studies, Asian studies and environmental studies.
Dinner at the National Women’s History Month celebration will be provided for $25, which includes tax, gratuity, tea and coffee. Guests have the choice of Club 86 baked chicken, broiled white fish, or pasta primavera. To make a reservation contact Nancy Taylor at (315) 789-2800 no later than Monday, March 10.
In 2012, Mary Herlihy Gearan was Lake to Lake Women’s first honoree.