Moving Up and Honoring a Leader – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Moving Up and Honoring a Leader

On Friday, May 2, the women of William Smith College celebrated their achievements during a ceremony on the Melly Lawn. One of the oldest traditional events, Moving Up Day featured the time-honored class processions, presentation of prizes and awards and a rousing rendition of the College alma mater. William Smith Dean Debra DeMeis kicked off the ceremony, noting that the Class of 2008 took the words of Convocation speaker John Lewis to heart. “This class got in the way. You got in the way and made the world greener. You got in the way and raised the academic bar. You got in the way and dominated the athletic fields. You got in the way and made the community a better place to live,” she announced. Before awarding the President’s Service Award to senior Rachel Sumner, Colleges President Mark D. Gearan also extolled the dedication and hard work of the class. “Over the arc of these 4 years, you’ve made a difference, in the classroom, out of the classroom, on the field, in the community and in my family, and I thank you most sincerely.” The ceremony honored the academic and other achievements of William Smith women throughout the school year, including an unprecedented 24 first-year women who completed their first semester with a 4.0 GPA or better. Hai Timiai, the William Smith senior honor society, also announced the 2008-2009 members, juniors Clancy Brown, Hannah Zale, Jacqui Sands, Colleen Carbonella, Amy Nadel, Katie Taylor, Shavonne Ward and Latiqua Washington. “Moving Up Day is a great reminder of the talent and dedication of William Smith women,” said Amy Kulow ’08. “As a senior, it was particularly moving to see classmates who I’ve known for four years be commended for their achievements.” Throughout the celebration, DeMeis, who recently announced that she has accepted a position as Dean of Students at Wellesley College, was also honored for her dedication to William Smith College and received several standing ovations from the audience. The women of Hai Timiai inducted DeMeis into the honor society and gifted her with a box full of William Smith gear, calling it a remembrance for every season and thanking her for her tireless dedication to the coordinate system, commitment to women’s issues and unending patience. “Moving Up Day is one of my favorite William Smith traditions, and this year it was made even more special when we honored Dean DeMeis by inducting her to our honor society,” said senior and Hai Timiai member Veronica Mora. “Dean DeMeis has been an amazing inspiration to all William Smith students, and inducting her to Hai Timiai was a small token of appreciation and only a small portion of the honor she deserves.” DeMeis responded with a tearful appreciation of her experiences at HWS. “When we use the word home, we think of places where people have nurtured and cared for us, places that teach us our values and who we are, and that will always be William Smith to me,” she said. Introducing Cerri Banks, who will lead William Smith College as the interim dean during the 2008-2009 academic year, DeMeis took a moment to warn Banks about the essential items of clothing she’d need as dean, including a good disguise. “It will be your privilege and your pleasure to work with these outstanding women every single day of the year,” she told her successor. In addition to celebrating current William Smith women, the ceremony also paid tribute to the College’s past. The William Smith Congress Executive Board made a $2,802 gift to the Centennial on behalf of the student body. The gift represented $1 for every current William Smith women, plus $1 for every member of the Class of 2012, and was combined with a matching gift from the William Smith Alumnae Association. During her closing benediction, Chaplain Lesley Adams acknowledged the strong feeling of community throughout the ceremony. “William Smith is the spirit that enlivens and connects all of these people, places and traditions,” she said. “William Smith’s spirit stays strong when we love her and stay true to all of these people, places and traditions.”

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