In the spring of 2005, Hobart and William Smith Colleges granted seven Master of Arts in Teaching degrees to the first class of graduate students in the new program.
Future participants in the master's degree program will have access to even greater resources and opportunities thanks to the planned Graduate Student Center in Merritt Hall, and a generous supporting grant from the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust.
The Trust, named in honor of its founder, retailer and newspaperman John Ben Snow, has committed $15,000 to the Colleges’ Education
Department to support the project.
When complete, the Graduate Student Center will facilitate interaction among the Master of Arts in Teaching students, providing them with a place for meetings, conferences, and use of educational resources.
The Center’s resources will include desks, tables, couches, desktop computers, a library of teaching materials, and wireless internet access.
Perhaps the most important benefit of the Center will be the spirit of camaraderie and teamwork engendered by the renovation. MAT students will be encouraged to mingle with undergraduates and faculty alike, giving new life to Merritt Hall and further establishing the Colleges’ MAT program at the forefront of liberal arts education in the United States.
Snow, born in 1904, worked his way from stock boy to corporate director of Woolworth stores. At the age of 35, he retired from Woolworth, having amassed a small fortune which he quickly turned to philanthropic pursuits. Snow established the foundation in 1948 to provide seed money for educational and humanitarian projects.