From academics to leadership, William Smith students were recently in the spotlight for their numerous accomplishments at the Colleges during the annual Celebrating Excellence Dinner. Held in the Vandervort Room of the Scandling Campus Center, the event was an opportunity not only to celebrate the achievements of William Smith students, but also to induct the newest members of the Laurel Society, the sophomore and junior honor society at William Smith.
“We, as William Smith women, are here tonight to celebrate excellence, as our quality, our talent, our distinction because we surpass ordinary standards,” said William Smith Dean Catherine Gallouët during the Dean’s Message at the event. “This is our tradition. This is William Smith.”
Gallouët said that William Smith students have demonstrated a strong track record of success, particularly in light of their impressive academic achievements. For those students who currently have a 3.9 GPA or higher, there are 44 first-year students, 28 sophomores, 20 juniors and 25 seniors. In addition, there are 528 William Smith students on the Dean’s List, with 25 new honorees inducted to the Laurel Society at the dinner.
At the event, William Smith Assistant Dean Valerie Gunter shared the opening remarks, welcoming the attendees and praising the students for their hard work across all facets of the HWS experience.
“William Smith students are wonderful, phenomenal women,” Gunter said. “You excel in the classroom, in sports, in HWS clubs and organizations, and in service to the HWS and Geneva communities. It is our pleasure to recognize and congratulate you.”
Two William Smith students, Michaela Carney ’18 and Rose Cherubin ’15, gave the “Looking Forward, Looking Back” address. Carney, the First Year Class President for William Smith, shared her reflections on her first semester experience.
“The feelings of anticipation and excitement from when I first arrived turned to a sense of belonging,” Carney said. “My experience just begins to scratch the surface of the many activities and opportunities HWS has to offer.”
Gunter introduced senior speaker, Cherubin, a public policy studies major with a minor in an anthropology. She also is the prime minister of the Caribbean Student Association and is a member of the senior honor society, Hai Timiai. Cherubin shared a retrospective look at her time at HWS.
“Throughout my journey here at William Smith, I have met so many wonderful women and men,” she said. “With each experience I have had here, I had support from so many different people to urge me to keep going on and succeed.”
In addition, Cherubin also said, “For those of us that are preparing to move on to the next chapter of our lives, let us not forget where we started. It is only by looking back at your past that you can appreciate your future.”
The remarks were followed by the Academic Recognition given by Provost and Dean of Faculty Titilayo Ufomata.
William Smith Associate Dean Lisa Kaenzig HON’10, along with Jeanine Cryan ’15, Megan Soule ’15 and Audrey Yifei Li ’15 gave the 2014-2015 Laurel Society induction, welcoming 25 new members.
“The Laurels demonstrate their commitment to William Smith College and to improving the lives of all William Smith Women,” Kaenzig said.
The Phenomenal William Smith Women, a long and empowering poem about William Smith women, was read by Sophia Alphas ’17, Tamilore Areola ’15 and Aislinn Raftis ’15. The ceremony concluded with a singing of the Alma Mater by 3 Miles Lost, which is the only all William Smith a capella group at HWS, and the closing remarks were shared by Kaenzig and Gunter.