Alums who graduated last spring and this spring know what it is. They’ve attended its events and are aware of its importance. For many, however, the name may be less familiar. So what, precisely, is The Stewardson Society? “It’s a four-year undergraduate giving program that will help educate students on the importance of giving back to Hobart and William Smith Colleges,” said Annual Giving Officer Ian Ward. “The Society launched in 2007 with the graduating class as an important first step.” But The Stewardson Society isn’t just a way to donate funds. “When seniors give to The Stewardson Society, we’re able to choose exactly where the money goes,” said Amanda Fritz ’08. “It’s definitely beneficial that we’re able to decide how our donations are being used, whether the money goes to scholarships or other worthwhile places,” said Sade Jones ’08. “Named after the first president of Hobart and William Smith, The Rev. Langdon C. Stewardson, The Stewardson Society will be a society composed of juniors and seniors whose mission will be to educate undergraduate students on the importance of giving to The Fund for Hobart and William Smith,” said Ward. How will that education happen over time? “Eventually, The Society will be composed of executive, leadership and general members,” Ward explained. “To become a general member, a student gives the dollar and cent equivalent of his/her class year. For example, 2007 Stewardson Society members gave $20.07. These members were invited to the Presidential Reception during Senior Week; were recognized in our Online Honor Roll for Giving; and were able to make a gift in honor of a friend, classmate, or professor. In addition, their parents received a letter from the Parents Office acknowledging their child’s generosity.” “Students who donate $50 or more will achieve Leadership Society membership,” said Ward. “This status gives them all of the perks of being a general member as well as invitations to attend regional alumni and alumnae events and a personal letter of thanks.” “The standing executive committee will play a more central role in The Society’s success and progress,” said Ward. “With a minimal time commitment, these students will have the opportunity to collaborate with Alumni House and interact with their peers to raise money in a way that is the most meaningful to HWS students and recent graduates.” With only one year in existence, The Stewardson Society has already been meaningful for students who graduated less than a week ago. “53 percent of 2008 graduates gave a total of more than $4,500” said Ward. “This year’s success exceeded the groundbreaking achievement of last year’s 51.5 percent participation.” Looking to their futures, the 2008 graduates were also looking to the future of the Colleges. “The grants, scholarships and other funds within The Stewardson Society make it possible for future students to attend Hobart and William Smith,” said Kathleen Bardsley ’08. “All of the seniors have had a great time while studying, growing and having fun at Hobart and William Smith,” said Meghan Mosher ’08. “Now, as we graduate, we’re able to give other students that opportunity.” To find out more about The Stewardson Society or to donate, e-mail Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org The photo above was taken during a Stewardson Society reception held in Comstock Dining Hall during Senior Week 2008.