At the annual Moving Up Day ceremony, dozens of William Smith students were honored for their academic achievements and service work, with various departmental and institutional awards given, HWS community members recognized and, this year, 24 William Smith seniors inducted to Phi Beta Kappa.
On Friday, April 30, the Colleges conducted the annual Spring celebration, which is one of William Smith’s oldest traditions. Moving Up Day ceremonially marks the moment when all classes “move up” as seniors “commence” to graduation and leave their class space to the juniors, the juniors to the sophomores, and the sophomores to the first-years. Seniors also inducted 10 new members to Hai Timiai, the William Smith senior honors society.
In addition to the honors bestowed on students and soon-to-be graduates, this year’s Moving-Up Day honored Lucia Lowe Wheeler ’42 with the inaugural Community Service Award.
In 2009, the Board of Trustees established the Community Service Award to recognize members of the HWS family who have demonstrated an extraordinary and sustained volunteer commitment in serving their local communities and the greater community.
As Honorary Trustee Roy Dexheimer ’55, P’86, LL.D. ’80 said in conferring the award to Wheeler, “Lucia has dedicated her life to the service of others. She has kept her community at the forefront of her priorities, serving in dozens of capacities and acting as a role model for all those around her. At the age of 90, when most people have slowed down, Lucia continues to actively work to improve her community. It seems only fitting that we present her with the inaugural Hobart and William Smith Community Service Award.”
While a student, Wheeler played field hockey and was involved in Schola Cantorum, the Yearbook and the Little Theatre. After graduation, she became a teacher, eventually moving to nearby Penn Yan where she lived with her husband.
A longtime volunteer for the Ontario-Yates County Rape Crisis Center, the Hospice Center and her church, she has served on numerous community boards and is a charter member and fourth president of Alpha Tau Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma International, a society of women educators.
Over the arc of her life, her passion for the community has been recognized through numerous awards. In 2000, she was awarded Volunteer of the Year by the Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes and in that same year was presented with St. Mark’s Outstanding Service Award. In 2003, she received the award for Outstanding Advocacy and Community Work in Ending Sexual Violence from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. In 2004, she received the Donald and Corinne Stork Award for Community Service at Keuka College.