Hobart and William Smith Colleges - An Outpouring of Support for Students
The HWS Update
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An Outpouring of Support for Students

Honorary Trustee Roy Dexheimer ’55, P’86, GP’18, L.L.D. ’80 knows that when the Hobart and William Smith community comes together, we can face any obstacle — even a global pandemic. That’s why he donated to the Student Emergency Fund. He was one of more than 350 alums, parents and staff who contributed more than $51,000 in the effort to aid students.

“I believe we will emerge from this dark moment stronger than we entered,” says Dexheimer, noting that he always makes a point of directing his donations to funds that will directly benefit students.

The Student Emergency Fund was established to provide students with financial assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. To date, more than $20,000 in grants have been dispersed from the advancement fund that Dexheimer donated to, and another $20,000 have been distributed from redirected monies from the Student Activities’ budget.

Assistant Vice President and Dean of Student Engagement and Conduct Brandon Barile, who oversees the allocations, says individual grants have averaged around $430 and been given to more than 100 students. They were awarded to help cover the cost of everything from electronics to transportation needs.

“Thanks to the generosity of the HWS community, students are able to submit a quick form explaining their need and then we’re able to fill that need,” says Barile.

Monies have been used to purchase airfare to get students home to Boston and Los Angeles; to pay for rent, utilities, groceries and laundry; to cover co-pays and out-of-pocket costs for teleconference counseling; and to offset the cost of laptop rentals and repairs, desks and art supplies.

The outpouring of support for students began even before the fund was established. Rev. Lawrence Spears P’23 asked the Colleges to apply the room and board refund for his daughter Sarah Spears ’23 to student housing needs. “Hobart and William Smith have given us so much,” he says. “Thank you for allowing us this gesture.”

Dexheimer, a retired educator who in 2017 received the Medal of Excellence — the Hobart College Alumni Association’s highest honor — takes comfort in this latest demonstration of the power of the HWS community. He says, “Together, we strengthen these graceful and essential places for launching new generations into their own lives of consequence.”

If you know someone in need, direct them to the emergency fund page on the Campus Life website.