During the189th annual Charter Day celebration, held in St. John’s Chapel Saturday morning, Hobart Dean Eugen Baer led the College in honoring undergraduates for their outstanding civic engagement and dedication to Hobart and William Smith.
Distinguished Alumni Speaker Major Hunter Ripley Rawlings IV ‘94 of the U. S. Marine Corps spoke about his 14-year career in the U.S. Marines and encouraged the assembled Statesmen to think about national service.
“We have a great and pressing need for young men and women to move our country forward,” he said. “Take your tools and experiences, wrap yourself in them, and there is no limit to what you can accomplish for yourself and for your nation.”
Senior Druid Brian Burbank ’11 addressed his fellow students. Reflecting on his four years, he encouraged his fellow Statesmen to take risks, practice perseverance and live in the moment. “Do what you love and success will follow,” he said.
During the ceremony, Hobart students were honored for their commitment to their fellow Statesmen, their loyalty and leadership, and their civic engagement. New members of the Hobart honor societies, including Orange Key, Chimera and Druids, were also inducted.
Following tradition, the ceremony concluded with the passing of Agayentah’s paddle, from the current Druids to the 2011-2012 Druids, including Jarrid Blades, Water Green, Charles Hale, Brian Horn, Darren Smith, Marcelo Triana and Haoyu Wang. The paddle, said to have been used by the legendary Seneca Indian warrior Agayentah, is a constant, concrete reminder of the past.
Currently serving as an Infantry and Light Armored Reconnaissance Officer, Rawlings joined the Marine Corps in 1997. To date, he has been deployed nine times on various assignments; seven of these deployments have been to hostile environments and areas of imminent danger. Among the honors he has received are the Bronze Star, The Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the third-highest award bestowed upon members of the United States military by the U.S. Department of Defense.
Burbank, of Washington, D.C., is a sociology and Africana studies major. He is also a guard for the Statesmen basketball team, as well as an America Reads tutor, a senior intern in Admissions, a CTL study mentor, and the co-president of Sankofa.