Phenomenal Women – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Phenomenal Women

William Smith College Holds Opening Day Dinner

“We are William Smith women, phenomenally,” said Student Trustee Shavonne Ward ’09. “Phenomenal William Smith women: that’s you, that’s me.” These were some of the many inspirational words given by the speakers at this year’s Opening Day Dinner.

Celebrating 100 years to the day that William Smith College first opened its doors, women of all classes as well as parents and faculty filled the Vandervort Room for the event. Welcoming the Colleges’ guests, William Smith Interim Dean Cerri Banks explained, “This evening we’re seated at circular tables because it invites a dialogue between us.” Banks continued her speech by reminding us of our upward progression throughout the years and emphasized “the powerful and distinct connection in all of us as women of William Smith College.”

Laurel Society member Elizabeth “Libby” Greene ‘10 then recognized those students being inducted to the Society. As Greene called the names of the new 23 Laurels, the audience sat in admiration, applauding the academic and co-curricular achievements of the young women.

The members of the Hai Timiai Senior Honor Society then recited “Phenomenal Woman,” a  poem originally written by Maya Angelou then rewritten by William Smith alumnae Shayna ’08 and Shannon ’08 Times. After the recitation, Hai Timiai performed a skit by reading the satirical diary entries of Daisy Buchholz, a William Smith alumna from the class of 1912.

“Everything we do has the potential to be precedence,” wrote Buchholz, revealing the pressure of being the inaugural class. “How can they teach boys and girls together in a sexy subject such as physics?” The performance gave insight and amusement to the audience, giving a personal glimpse into a different time and a poignant life.

As the event closed with the singing of the alma mater, Chaplain Lesley Adams gave a few final words, saying “Some women wait for things to change […] William Smith women change themselves.”