Owen Smith ’18 Commissioned into U.S. Marine Corps - Hobart and William Smith Colleges
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Owen Smith ’18 Commissioned into U.S. Marine Corps

On May 13,  Owen Smith ’18 reached two important milestones in back-to-back ceremonies: After graduating from HWS during the 2018 Commencement, he was commissioned into the U.S. Marine Corps as a Second Lieutenant during an intimate ceremony held in Bartlett Theatre attended by his friends, family, HWS community members and overseeing officers Captain Kristopher Turner and Gunnery Sergeant Adam Black.

Visit the 2018 Commencement page for full coverage of events through stories, photo galleries, videos, social media and speech transcripts.

After guests sang the National Anthem, Black gave words of advice and encouragement to Smith for his years of service ahead. Smith then made an oath to his country, sealing his admittance into the Officer Corps of the United States military. In a special tribute to his family, Smith’s mother Bonnie and his brother Garrett pinned the second lieutenant’s rank onto his shoulders. He also received his first salute from Director of Operations for Hobart Athletics Terry Muffley, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Before his senior year, Smith completed a 10-week session at the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Va. In just a few weeks, he will attend the Basic School, where newly commissioned USMC officers spend eight months learning the fundamentals of their new role. Following Smith’s time there, he will begin training for a Military Occupational Specialty.

A political science major, Smith has had an interest in joining the Marines since he was a first-year student after encountering a strong tradition of scholarship and service at HWS. Among his mentors at the Colleges have been Dean of Admissions Bob Murphy, who served as an officer in the Marine Corps and former Director of Athletics Mike Hanna ’68, P’99, a former paratrooper and officer in the U.S. Army.

“In the last year and a half I’ve known Owen, he’s been one of the hardest workers that we’ve had at the Officer Candidate School,” Turner shared during the ceremony. “He’s been a pleasure to work with, and I know he will be a leader in the field. When he shows up, he shows up. He has already been a mentor to next year’s class, and I’m proud of him.”

Smith, who played lacrosse at HWS and also volunteered as a tutor at the Boys and Girls Club, graduated magna cum laude in political science, and was a member of the Druids Society and the political science honor society Phi Sigma Alpha.

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