Seniors Celebrate Graduation – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Seniors Celebrate Graduation

After collecting their caps and gowns during the latter part of the day, seniors will meet at Coxe Hall at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, to begin the traditional walk to Houghton House for the Senior Dinner that will kick off Senior Week.

Leading the students in their walk will be President Mark D. Gearan, Hobart Dean Eugen Baer and William Smith Dean Susanne McNally, all of whom have acted as administrators, professors and mentors to the seniors during their four years.

Following the dinner, seniors will return to campus to gather in the Vandervort Room, where they will celebrate their upcoming graduation with a Presidential Toast complete with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Following the toast, seniors will be invited to dance the night away with the President’s Garage Band, fronted by Gearan himself with the other band members made up of HWS faculty and staff – an annual treat reserved for Senior Week.

On Friday, May 11, seniors will be asked to gather on the Quad for a commencement rehearsal before Hobart students head down to the Bozzuto Boathouse for Hobart Launch – a ceremony in which Hobart seniors are officially welcomed to the alumnus association with an oar that represents Hobart tradition. Previously, on Tuesday, May 8, the William Smith seniors received their welcome into the alumnae association with a brunch outside Smith Hall before walking down to Seneca Lake for a toast.

In the evening, the Classes of 2012 will once again reunite on Stern Lawn for the Senior BBQ, where they will be entertained by a live band and a capella performances. Closing the night, fireworks will be held on Stern Lawn while the Abbe Center for Jewish Life hosts an Oneg Shabbat Dessert Reception, both at 9 p.m.

On Saturday, May 12, at 10 a.m., family, friends, faculty and staff will gather at The Smith Opera House to recognize and celebrate the scholarly accomplishments of the graduating senior class.

At 2:30 p.m., Interim Provost and Dean of the Faculty Pat McGuire and Chaplain Lesley Adams will lead the Baccalaureate ceremonies at Trinity Church. A tradition practiced for more than 180 years at HWS, the ceremony invites graduates, friends and family to stop and take a moment to reflect on the past four years.

Following baccalaureate, the Interim Provost and Hobart and William Deans will host a reception for graduates and parents at the church’s parish hall.

On their final night before graduation, graduates and their families are invited to a dinner and reception at the Intercultural Affairs Center or a candlelight dinner gala at the Scandling Campus Center. Both events being at 6 p.m. and reserved tickets are required for the gala.

On the morning of Sunday, May 13, graduates will begin the procession down to the Quad, where they will receive their degrees and be addressed by commencement speaker Savannah Guthrie, who is co-host of NBC’s TODAY show and TODAY’s chief legal analyst.

For more information about Senior Week and the Commencement schedule, visit