It was a milestone moment this morning for the Hobart and William Smith Classes of 2018 as they arrived on campus to begin their collegiate careers and kick off Orientation 2014.
Following in annual tradition, each first-year student received an individual welcome and handshake from President Mark D. Gearan on the steps of Coxe Hall – the very place where students will receive their diplomas upon graduation. As part of the welcome, the students also were greeted by other campus leaders, including Chair of the Board of Trustees Maureen Collins Zupan ’72, P’09.
“Hobart and William Smith Colleges are welcoming an immensely gifted and highly engaged group of students to campus with the Classes of 2018,” Gearan said. “They are student leaders and volunteers, team captains, mentors and world travelers. Together, they exemplify the ideals of these Colleges, and their presence and engagement will truly enrich the entire HWS community.”
Gathered with their family and friends, students throughout the morning met their roommates, unpacked, explored campus and connected with their Orientation groups. They also reflected on their excitement and the opportunities ahead over the next four years.
“I am very excited to be at Hobart and William Smith,” said Alexandra Garrigues ’18, of Stamford, Conn. “One of the things that really drew me here was how easy it was to connect with professors and the Colleges’ smaller size.”
Garrigues said the beauty of campus and its surroundings, as well as a visit to HWS also were deciding factors for her enrollment.
Along with her classmates, Garrigues is part of an impressive group of 653 students from across the country and around the world who comprise the incoming first-year classes.
At a glance, the Classes of 2018 — are talented and well-rounded, with 19 class presidents, 181 varsity sports captains, 21 club founders and 443 who participated in community service during high school. In addition, seven are business owners, 12 participate in LGBTQ clubs and three are volunteer firefighters.
“I’m excited about everything that’s happening right now,” said Grant Shinagawa ’18, of Ithaca, N.Y. “I’m just really happy to be here. I’m looking forward to all of the Orientation activities and I’m looking forward to this being a really good year.”
Shinagawa said he’s keeping his academic options open at the moment, but is excited to take an American history course during the fall semester.
Of the 653 students in the Classes of 2018, more than 100 are legacy students, those who are children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins or siblings of alumni, alumnae and current students.
Sarah Kloos ’18, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is joining her brother, David Kloos ’15, on campus this fall. Chatting with her parents, Bob and Jean, about move-in, Sarah said she’s loved campus since her first visit.
“I love literature and I’m very interested in English,” she said. “I’m also really excited about the Performing Arts Center.”
Hanhui Zeng ’18, of Changsha City, China, said HWS will provide the kind of college experience he’s interested in. “I can have a beautiful environment and a lot of culture,” Zeng said.
Arriving from the Midwest with his parents, Charlie Hollister ’18, of Nashotah, Wis., said it was a campus visit that established HWS his school of choice. Hollister said it was the lake, his interest in sailing and the Physics Department that helped him make his decision.
“The physics professors went above and beyond to tell me about the program and what’s available at HWS,” Hollister said of an experience he had during Admitted Student Day. “That’s the kind of accommodation you don’t get everywhere.”