The Hobart Class of 2011 joined the ranks of distinguished alumni during the annual Hobart Launch at the Bozzuto Boathouse on Friday evening. “We are here to celebrate a new beginning,” remarked Director of Alumni Relations Jared Weeden ’91. “This launch is the official welcome to the Statesmen Family.”
Before the newest members of the Hobart Alumni Association received their paddles to dip in the waters of Seneca Lake – a tradition that ensures this powerful lake will remain with Hobart men long after graduation – President of the Hobart Alumni Association Edward R. Cooper ’86 spoke of the connectedness of Hobart graduates. “You are joining an austere group,” said Cooper challenging the graduates to become active and engaged alumni. “You are now a part of a strong common bond. Wherever you go, there is Hobart College.”
Trustee Thomas S. Bozzuto ’68 spoke of the pride he felt when six years ago, he was approached about using the boathouse named in his father’s honor as the site of the Launch and congratulated the Class of 2011 on a job well done.
“When you first decided to come to Hobart, you probably thought this was just a four year commitment,” said Bozzuto. “However, you are a Hobart man today and you will be a Hobart man for the rest of your life.”
Hobart is a place where men are created, but also nurtured, said Bozzuto. He likened the connection to the powerful influence that mothers have on their children. “We are who we are today because of our mothers,” explained Bozzuto. “Much of what we do should be attributed to them, but we do owe a great deal to our other mother – Hobart. You are a product of the education you received on this campus.”
Recalling his first moments on campus, he spoke about meeting his first-year roommate, a friend he keeps to this day – Hobart Director of Athletics Mike Hanna ’68, P’99, HON’04. For the sake of friendships such as these, and for opportunities to continue to connect with other graduates well beyond the undergraduate career, Bozzuto asked students to continue to nurture and care about Hobart, just as Hobart will do in return. “You don’t leave campus on graduation day,” remarked Bozzuto. “You take it with you.”
Adam VanHeyst ’11 addressed his classmates, reflecting on the bittersweet nature of these final moments as students on campus. “These past four years have been like a whirlwind of weather patterns,” explained VanHeyst. “Each of the four seasons has distinct characteristics and meanings, just as these past four years have.”
While VanHeyst saw his first year as winter, challenging but not without the unparalleled fun of Christmas and snowballs fights, he saw this final year as autumn. “Fall has warm weather, the lake is actually warm enough to swim in, and there’s so much excitement in seeing friends after the long summer,” reflected VanHeyst. “But it is also bittersweet because it is in the shadow of summer, fall gets cold, just as things toward the end of senior year get more challenging. We prepare for another winter – life after college.”
As part of tradition, the Class of 2011 named an honorary member to their class of distinguished graduates. This year, the late Doug Reeland P ’13, the former coordinator of sports medicine, was welcomed into the brotherhood of Statesmen. Reeland’s wife Shelley Reeland and daughter Brittany Reeland ’13 accepted the paddle in his honor.