Since the Caird Center for Sports and Recreation opened on campus nearly a year ago, it has enlivened the athletic life of Hobart and William Smith. On Saturday, Oct. 1, James F. ’56 and Cynthia L. Caird returned to campus for the dedication of a plaque honoring their commitment and significant influence on the lives of students and the Colleges as a whole.
At the ceremony, the Cairds were joined by members of the faculty, staff, student body, and alums at the Caird Center for Sports and Recreation. It was the $4.4 million lead gift of the Cairds that allowed for the renovation and expansion of the center, which has vastly improved the experience of Statesmen and Heron athletes.
Boswell Field was completely renovated to include FieldTurf and stadium lights – allowing the Hobart Statesmen football team to play their first night game on the field. The transformation was also made dynamic by a new grandstand including a scoreboard, complete with video panel and new aluminum bleachers replacing worn wooden planks.
The field is the turf of the football and lacrosse teams; however, the Caird Center provides a home for numerous HWS athletic teams. The expansion of the Elliott Varsity House allowed for the renovation of locker rooms and sports medicine facilities. Boswell Field is also equipped to support the Hobart and William Smith soccer teams, should Cozzens Field be deemed unplayable due to weather conditions.
James Caird was born in Troy, N.Y., and graduated from Hobart in 1956. Caird founded the world’s largest privately owned personal lines insurance agency, Auto Insurance Specialists. Cynthia Caird has traveled the world in the airline industry, and has served the USO as an event planner. In honor of their continued generosity, the Colleges have also named Caird Residence Hall in their honor. Additionally, the Cairds have founded the James F. ’56 and Cynthia Caird Endowed Scholarship Fund, which aids academically qualified and financially deserving students from the Albany, N.Y. area with preference given to Albany Academy students. In 2008, the Cairds were presented with Dual President’s Medals by President Mark D. Gearan in recognition of their contributions to the Colleges and their unwavering support of education.
In the photo above, William Smith Athletic Director Deb Steward offers the Cairds praise for their generosity toward HWS Athletics.