Former Sporting News and Reader’s Digest Chief Honored by his Alma Mater – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Former Sporting News and Reader’s Digest Chief Honored by his Alma Mater

Hobart alumnus Richard Waters jokes about being forced to attend the Super Bowl and other major athletics events for the decade that he headed The Sporting News.

February 11, 2002 NAPLES, Fla.—Richard Waters may make light of his accomplishments but his alma mater, Hobart College, does not. The former president and chief executive officer of The Sporting News—who facetiously bemoans that he was required to go to events such as the Super Bowl and World Series as part of his job—is scheduled to receive the college’s highest honor on Saturday.

Waters will be awarded the “Medal of Excellence” for his lifetime achievements in publishing as well as for his long-standing commitment to Hobart and William Smith Colleges on Saturday, Feb. 16, at a private club in Naples, Fla.

After earning his bachelor’s degree from Hobart in 1950, Waters went on to earn a master’s in business from Harvard Business School. He began his career in 1953 as an associate at the accounting firm of Hunter and Weldon in New York City. In 1955, he moved to Reader’s Digest, where he stayed for the next 22 years, becoming executive vice president and chief financial officer. From 1977 through 1981, he was associate dean for external affairs at Harvard Business School, and in 1981 became president and chief executive officer of The Sporting News Publishing Co. Circulation of The Sporting News nearly doubled during his tenure, and he moved subscription circulation to 90 percent and doubled revenues in three years.

At the time of his departure from publishing, columnists noted that he had created a livelier, more up-to-date publication and had brought this American icon into the 20th century.

“Dick Waters has achieved an honored place in the ranks of Hobart College alums by simply being the best at what he did,” said President Mark D. Gearan, who will host the award presentation and reception. “Through his energy, determination, and leadership abilities, Dick has brought great honor to Hobart College. I am proud to recognize his service.”

Throughout his career, Waters has served Hobart and William Smith Colleges in several capacities. From 1971 to 1991, he was a member of the Board of Trustees and was instrumental in establishing the financial security of the Colleges. Today he serves as an Honorary Trustee.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are coordinate, private, liberal arts institutions located in Geneva, N.Y. The Colleges are noted for an ambitious emphasis on international study and their community service rograms. Hobart College for men and William Smith College for women share faculty, facilities, and curriculum but maintain separate dean's offices, athletics programs, student governments, and traditions.