With more than 3,500 attendees, perfect weather and an amazing lineup of events, Homecoming and Family Weekend 2014 concluded as one of the most successful in the history of the Colleges. Bringing together parents and alums with the campus community, it was all about celebrating Hobart and William Smith, while showing off school spirit at a range of events including the dedication of the Cook Parents Circle Donor Wall, Quad-a-Palooza, Fall Nationals, open houses, athletic contests and mini-college sessions. “Homecoming and Family Weekend 2014 welcomed parents, alumni, alumnae and friends back to the Colleges for what was one of the best gatherings in recent memory,” said Director of Parent Relations Kelly Young P’16. “It was a dynamic weekend that resonated with great energy and an enthusiasm for the tradition of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. The turnout was outstanding.” On Friday, open houses were held at the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education; the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning; the Center for Global Education; the Abbe Center for Jewish Life; the Finger Lakes Institute; the Caird Center for Sports and Recreation; the Goldstein Family Carriage House; and The Katherine D. Elliott ’66 Arts Center. Also helping to launch the weekend activities was the annual house decorating contest, bringing together residences from across campus for a competition that’s all about showcasing HWS school spirit. Contest winners were Hope House and Unit 44 of The Village at O’Dell’s Pond. “It’s a great way to show school spirit and I think it ties in well with the whole school spirit week,” said Sima Rana ’15, who decorated her Odell’s unit with her housemates. “It’s a chance for students to show their pride and how much they love their school.” Friday night’s lineup included Quad-a-Palooza — an all-campus extravaganza with a barbecue and Campus Activities Board (CAB) sponsored talent show, as well as fun family activities for all ages. The CAB contest featured 3 Miles Lost, A-Positive, Hobartones, the HWS Gospel Choir, Perfect Third, as well as Kathleen Fowkes ’18, Jordan Loretz ’17, and international exchange students Gertrud Kohl, of Germany, and Seo-Hae “Denice” Moon, of South Korea. Coinciding with the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, a Kosher Shabbat dinner was held at the Abbe Center on Friday evening, drawing members of the HWS community and guests alike. “My favorite part about Homecoming Weekend for Shabbat is seeing how many people will turn up and strengthening Jewish activism on campus,” said Max Feldman ’15, the Hillel’s Jewish education chair. With clear skies throughout the weekend, students and their families took time to enjoy the campus, historic Geneva, downtown and Seneca Lake. “I love that this event reunites family members and current HWS students, really reinforcing the feel of family and community,” said Sophie Halter ’16. Saturday morning of Homecoming and Family Weekend kicked off with a State of the Colleges address by President Mark D. Gearan, who announced the dedication of The Cook Parents Circle donor wall in recognition of the generous support of Langdon (Lang) L.H.D.’12 and Lyn Cook P’99, P’05. In 2012, the Cook Circle was established in honor of the Cook family to inspire and encourage other parents and families to provide support to the Colleges. “For nearly 20 years, the Cooks have been stalwart supporters of Hobart and William Smith,” Gearan said. “They have demonstrated a confidence in our strategic priorities and have inspired other parents to invest in supporting those priorities. We thank you, and other parents like you, who continue to make the Colleges a philanthropic priority.” Among the many well-attended weekend activities was a special President’s Forum Series presentation of the “Political Junkie Road Show” hosted by “Talk of the Nation” host Neal Conan and “Political Junkie” Ken Rudin. Panelists included Gearan; political strategist James Carville P’17, LL.D ’13; Mayor of Ithaca and HWS Presidential Fellow for Civic Engagement Svante Myrick; Associate Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of Faculty DeWayne Lucas; and Professor of Political Science Iva Deutchman. In annual fashion, the Fall Nationals soapbox derby competition was held on William Smith Hill, with six teams vying for the title this year. Facing a tough field of challengers, Keegan Jon Balk ’17 took home top honors at Fall Nationals. Other drivers included Sam Buffum ’15, David Kloos ’15, Aly McKnight ’15, Genevieve Moralez ’15 and John Remmert ’16. “Seeing all of the alums I graduated with, who are all going down such good paths now, is so exciting to me,” said AlexaMarie Crivelli ’14, who joined with fellow alums at the race. While race teams took part in one of the Colleges’ classic Homecoming traditions, students, families and alums enjoyed the Tailgate Luncheon. “It’s so nice to be here with our daughter at Homecoming and Fall Nationals, to really soak up some of that environment she’s part of,” said Nancy Hackett P’17 alongside her daughter Katie Hackett ’17 at William Smith Hill during the luncheon. The weekend concluded with wins by William Smith College’s field hockey, soccer and rowing teams as well as a victory for Hobart football. The Heron field hockey team logged its fifth shutout of the year with a 2-0 Liberty League win over St. Lawrence on Saturday on McCooey Field. Heron soccer also notched a 2-0 win over St. Lawrence on John H. Cozzens Jr. ’41 Memorial Field. It was William Smith soccer’s fourth straight shutout and fifth of the year. In its season opener on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, Heron rowing earned wins in the varsity eight and varsity four. Hobart football rushed for 404 yards and six touchdowns on its way to a 42-7 Liberty League win over the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on Boswell Field at the Caird Center for Sports and Recreation. A parade featuring decorated golf carts was held during halftime of the football game. Participants included Campus Activities Board, Caribbean Students Association, Colleges Against Cancer, Hip~NotiQ’s Step & Dance Team, Hobart Student Government (HSG), Latin American Organization, Sankofa, William Smith Congress (WSC), WSC and HSG class presidents, and five residence areas: William Smith Hill, JPR (Jackson Hall, Reese Hall, Potter Hall), Sherrill Hall, Mini-Quad, DEC (deCordova Hall, Emerson Hall and Caird Hall), and Odell’s and small houses.