“Showtime Joe,” Class of 2008 – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

“Showtime Joe,” Class of 2008

Colleges Chef Named Honorary Hobart Graduate At Hobart and William Smith, faculty, staff and administrators are more than just employees. They also serve as friends and friendly faces to students, and many are known by their first names. “Showtime Joe” is one staff member that nearly every student undoubtedly knows by name. Honoring this witty and skilled campus chef, the Hobart seniors voted to induct Joseph “Showtime Joe” Hatfield as an honorary member of the Class of 2008. “Joe’s first year at HWS was our first year,” said Shaun Houde ’08, who worked with Alumni House to make Hatfield’s induction a reality. “He has been with us for every step of our college experience, and it feels like he is a part of our class.” During the induction ceremony on Tuesday, May 13, part of the annual Hobart Launch celebration, Hatfield and his classmates were each presented with a wooden oar embossed with the Hobart seal. “This induction is one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me,” Hatfield said. “After the ceremony, I hung the oar on a wall next to my four sons’ birth certificates. The induction was so important because it really shows the student’s respect for me. And to me, that is more important than any other kind of reward.” So who is the humble, well respected man beneath the chef’s hat? Hatfield is a Detroit native who was raised in Geneva with his four siblings. He got his first job at the Colleges at 17, washing dishes when the kitchen was in Gulick Hall. “Even though I was doing well in high school, I left to start working full-time in the dish room to help my Mom make ends meet and never had any remorse about it,” said Hatfield. After just one year at the Colleges, Hatfield went to work in several Geneva-area kitchens, including Mario’s, where he worked for 13 years. “Looking back, I regret not staying here at the Colleges,” he says, though he admits that he learned a lot of different cooking techniques in the years away. Four years ago, when he returned to campus as a chef, he was glad to be back in the Scandling kitchen, but it didn’t last for long. “Soon after my return, they asked me to cook at the Showtime station in the main dining room,” he says. “I’d never worked outside of a kitchen, so I was surprised when I was so welcomed by the students.” It wasn’t long before the students started calling him “Showtime Joe,” and Hatfield’s bosses had some uniforms made with the new nickname embroidered on them. So what’s the secret ingredient to his success with students? “Joe is easy to get along with,” said Houde. “Every time you go into Saga, you will see lots of people crowded around him talking and joking. He has lots of energy, and he radiates that onto the students he serves.” After spending four years getting to know this friendly campus chef, the Hobart Class of 2008 knew that Showtime Joe was the right choice for this year’s induction. “His honorary membership in our class is truly symbolic,” said former student trustee Neil Wakeman ’08. “He’s an all-around great guy and he’s left each and every one of us with fond memories of our time at the Colleges.”