Cairds Honored with President’s Medals – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Cairds Honored with President’s Medals

On Friday, Nov. 14, James F. ’56 and Cynthia L. Caird were presented with dual President’s Medals by Hobart and William Smith Colleges President Mark D.Gearan, in recognition of their contributions to the Colleges and their unwavering support of education. The Cairds have been generous supporters of Albany Academy, Mr. Caird’s secondary school, and HWS, where they have provided the most up-to-date resources, facilities and opportunities for today’s students.

“The core of Hobart and William Smith’s mission is to foster an appreciation for lifelong learning and discovery,” said Mark D. Gearan, president of the Colleges. “It is fitting, then, that we salute individuals whose personal and professional lives embody the values we aspire for our students as we prepare them for leadership.”

Born in Troy, N.Y., James Caird graduated from Albany Academy, where he played varsity basketball and baseball. At Hobart College, he played baseball and was active in his fraternity, Kappa Sigma, and participated in the ROTC program. In 1957, he joined the Army.  He was president and founder of Auto Insurance Specialists, which became the world’s largest privately owned personal lines insurance agency.

Cynthia Caird has traveled the world extensively as a fundraiser for the USO and in the airline industry. Her work has brought her a unique perspective on the power of global awareness and the need in higher education to educate students to be 21st century citizens who have an understanding of different peoples and cultures.

In honor of their leadership gift to Hobart and William Smith, the Colleges named Caird Hall, a state-of-the-art residence hall, in their honor.  

They also established the James F. ’56 and Cindy L. Caird Endowed Scholarship Fund to support an academically qualified and financially deserving student from the Capital Region of Albany, N.Y., with preference given to an Albany Academy graduate. The scholarship’s first recipient is Tomas Carvalho e Silva ’10 who is a resident advisor, member of Chi Phi fraternity, active in the International Student Association, and a participant in club rugby and intramural soccer.

“I’d love to follow Jim Caird’s path,” Carvalho e Silva said. “Receiving the scholarship completely blew me away. Coming from Portugal, where this kind of thing doesn’t happen at all, it’s amazing. I really wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the Cairds.”