More than 80 Hobart and William Smith students recognized for making the grades.
March 5, 2002 GENEVA, N.Y.— For those with financial and academic disadvantages doing well in college takes work. An Academic Success Dinner held last week by the Colleges’ Office of Intercultural Affairs praised the success of more than 80 such students who are topping the honor roll. The majority of students recognized receive funding from New York State’s Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and/or Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), which provide funding to independent colleges to subsidize programs supporting students who are educationally and economically disadvantaged.
State Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-N.Y., and Rep. Brian Kolb, R-N.Y., attended the dinner and extended congratulations to the attendees. Sen. Nozzolio praised the academic success of the students as well as of the community service work that many of the students perform in the community. In addition to encouraging students to keep pursuing academic excellence, Assemblyman Kolb spoke of his personal financial hardships getting through college.
Pamela Thomas, dean of students and director of Intercultural Affairs, called the evening “a shameless opportunity to brag about the students who put faces on the countless HEOP and TAP success stories.” She said despite their earlier educational disadvantage, HEOP students complete their degree programs at a rate that surpasses students nationally. Over the past four years at HWS, 88 percent of HEOP students graduated. The state’s HEOP graduation rates are 51.4 percent and the nation graduation rate is 50.9 percent, she noted.
“Tonight we are in the company of the best and brightest minds of this generation. But these chairs could not be occupied if it were not for the twin support of TAP and HEOP,” Thomas said.
William Smith senior Phillippa Bishop, of Brooklyn, discussed how state assistance has made her education possible. Bishop also noted she is the first in her family of eight children to attend college. In addition to regular studies on campus, Bishop has studied through the Colleges’ abroad programs in Hikone, Japan, and Dakar, Senegal.
Thomas intends to make the dinner an annual event and will hold the celebration in honor of the first woman and man of color who graduated from Hobart and William Smith: Rev. Dr. Alger Leroy Adams, a 1932 Hobart graduate, and Gloria Robinson Lowry, a 1952 William Smith graduate. “We honor and invoke their wisdom and guidance,” she said.
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