Now in its 46th year of providing scholarship support for academically deserving Geneva High School graduates to attend the Colleges, the Geneva Scholarship Associates (GSA) celebrated this year’s recipients and thanked donors during a gathering in the Scandling Campus Center on Wednesday evening. More than 125 graduates, parents, GSA recipients and community members were in attendance.
“These students are among the best and the brightest in Geneva and, if they are anything like their predecessors, they will equally distinguish themselves at HWS,” said President Mark D. Gearan.
The members of the Classes of 2018 named GSA recipients are Dylan Doeblin, Mark C. Pitifer, Jesse Singleton and Sarah M. Taylor.
During the event, President Gearan discussed the strong partnership between the Colleges and the City of Geneva, and specifically the Geneva 2020 initiative which drew national attention earlier this year when Gearan presented it as a benchmark at the Higher Education Summit at the White House. After acknowledging several individuals in attendance who were responsible for making Geneva 2020 thrive, Gearan shared the initiative’s early successes: the effort has moved the local high school graduation rate from 70% in 2010 to 82% in 2013, and to increase the number of local high school students entering college from 74% in 2009 to 76% in 2013.
Mary Dinan ’15, a 2011 Geneva High graduate who has received GSA scholarship support for the past three years, shared how she has made the most of her time at HWS. A double major in dance and media and society, Dinan is a member of the Koshare Dance Collective, has choreographed pieces for the Junior/Senior Dance Concert, performed at the American College Dance Festival, and was a featured student in the Faculty Dance Concert. She has also been involved with the HWS Orientation program over the past three years as both a mentor and program leader. This summer, she earned a competitive internship with the Rochester-based marketing firm Dixon Schwabl.
“Not a day goes by when I’m not thinking of how grateful I am to be at HWS and for the generosity of the members of the Geneva Scholarship Associates,” said Dinan. “It’s the kind of opportunity that leads to so many other opportunities in life – my fellow recipients and I are a testament to that.”
Former GSA scholarship recipient and current GSA President, Sarah Wethey Heieck ’97 thanked donors and supporters and introduced this year’s recipients.
“What began in 1968 with a small group of community members has provided assistance to more than 195 students to date,” said Heick, adding of the 42 Geneva are high school seniors who enrolled at HWS in the past five years, 29 received GSA Scholarships.
GSA scholarships are awarded to financially deserving and academically-minded incoming first-year students from the greater Geneva area. The students will receive the GSA award each year for the four years they attend Hobart and William Smith. During the 2013-14 academic year, there were 19 GSA scholars on campus. These 19 students received GSA scholarship totaling nearly $66,000. Next year, GSA scholars are set to receive nearly $89,000.
In addition to the new members of the Classes of 2018, current recipients include: Zoe Bradley ’16, Mei-Wah Choi ’16, Sean Cunningham ’17, Michael DeRosa ’16, Dinan, Michael Doeblin ’17, Teaganne Finn ’16, Isiah Grady ’17, Malorie Maher ’17, Morgan Onorato ’16, and Brian Tosado-Prater ’17.
For more information about GSA and how to contribute, visit www.hws.edu/alumni/gsa.aspx. More information about Geneva 2020 is also online.