Cerri Banks, interim dean of William Smith College and Mara O’Laughlin, assistant vice president of institutional advancement was interviewed by Finger Lakes Radio Group at 8:10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6 about the Centennial celebration.
The Centennial celebration takes place with events both meant to bespeak the history and tradition of William Smith College and to be a fun, modern way to celebrate such an auspicious occasion.
The events kicked off with a pre-birthday bash in the Scandling Campus Center on Thursday where students took the opportunity to pick up their all-access Centennial Weekend lanyards (for those who pre-registered) and took part in birthday-style festivities. The events continued through Sunday and are posted on the Colleges’ Web site.
Banks, assistant professor of education at HWS, was named interim dean of William Smith College this spring and holds a bachelor of science in inclusive elementary and special education, a master’s degree in cultural foundations of education, a certificate of advanced studies in women’s studies, and a Ph.D. in cultural foundations of education — all from Syracuse University. At SU, she was a recipient of many awards including the School of Education doctoral prize.
As dean, she is responsible for ensuring that William Smith College students’ academic, personal and health needs are met through the College’s policies, services and support staff. She is also the dean who works primarily with the senior class to assist in the transition from college to post-graduation, including advising and planning for graduate school or employment. Banks oversees the budget that supports student activities and is the adviser to William Smith Congress and Hai Timiai honor society.
Originally from New York City and a resident of the Geneva area for more than 40 years, O’Laughlin, a 1966 graduate of William Smith College, taught high school social studies in the Romulus Central School District for five years. She was the admissions director of the Colleges for 32 years, and can tout admitting nearly two-thirds of the living William Smith alumnae. Additionally, she was instrumental in establishing “Frank’s Books” in the Warren Hunting Smith Library on campus – an extensive scholarly collection of the late Professor Emeritus Frank O’Laughlin, to whom she was married for 35 years. She also established the Frank and Mara ’66 O’Laughlin Scholarship, which targets middle income students of high promise in their first year. O’Laughlin works in collaboration with William Smith alumnae and advancement staff members to shape the centennial campaign, which culminates in the Centennial celebration.
The Finger Lakes Radio interview with Banks and O’Laughlin can be heard here.