To recognize the accomplishments of all William Smith women, the college held its annual Moving Up Day. As one of the longest running and anticipated events at William Smith, Moving Up Day celebrated the “moving up” of all of its classes by having the time-honored class processions, a presentation of awards, the passing of the laurel and by singing of the college’s alma mater.
Reincorporating a tradition that hadn’t been practiced since the 1970s, the members of Hai Timiai Senior Honor Society led the William Smith classes in a hoop rolling competition on the Hill before the ceremony. To modernize the event, William Smith students attached small sheets of paper to their hoops, labeled with the things that they would be the first woman to do, such as be the first woman to cure cancer. The woman whose hoop reached the bottom of the Hill first was predicted to have her vanguard dreams come true.
To begin a new tradition, Moving Up Day featured musical performances by student groups Harmonyz with Soul and Three Miles Lost throughout the ceremony. This newly instituted tradition is designed to celebrate the musical talents of the college.
At the ceremony, Dean Cerri Banks welcomed students and received two standing ovation as President Mark D. Gearan announced her as the new dean of William Smith College. “This is an especially poignant moment for me because like the Classes of 2009, I arrived at William Smith College four years ago,” Banks said during the ceremony. “Many members of the Class of 2009 took classes with me. Many more have met with me in the dean’s office, where we have worked together to advance this college that we love so much.”
She continued, saying, “I thank you for your leadership, your commitment and for sharing your intellect and passions. But most of all, I thank you for joining me as together we have made William Smith College our home.”
Recognizing the way in which many William Smith women have made themselves home at the Colleges by serving as student leaders, Gearan awarded the President’s Civic Leadership Award to 51 women in the Class of 2009. He also honored the class for their “exceptional allegiance to the tenants of social justice, inclusivity, teamwork, ethics, equity and service.”
“It is my belief that you will all go on to lead lives of consequence and meaning,” Gearan said.
During the remainder of the ceremony, William Smith women were honored for their academic and other achievements throughout the school year. Additionally, new members of the Laurel Junior and Sophomore Honor Society as well as Hai Timiai were named.
Bringing this year’s Moving Up Day to a close, Hai Timai took the time to recognize all William Smith women. Students were asked to stand if the following statements applied to them. The last statement brought all William Smith students to their feet: “Please stand or remain standing if you know you’re a Phenomenal William Smith Woman!”