Tasked with welcoming the Classes of 2019 to Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Peter Budmen ’15, MAT’16 and Hannah Connolly ’16 have been named the 2015 Orientation Coordinators. The duo is responsible for planning the first experiences that the Classes of 2019 will have as members of the HWS community.
“We will work to create an experience that not only enables the first-year students to create their own identities as the Classes of 2019, but also one that introduces them to the culture of HWS and integrates them into our campus and Geneva communities,” Connolly says.
Over the next five months, Budmen and Connolly will plan and organize different events and activities that will welcome the students to the HWS community, as well as promote an environment in which first-year students feel they are “valued, integral members of the HWS community from day one.” This inclusivity, Connolly says, “will encourage students to contribute their ideas and perspectives and challenge ours, which will only benefit our community.”
Furthering the Colleges’ commitment to public service, Budmen and Connolly hope to integrate the students into the HWS and surrounding communities. Connolly says she hopes to achieve this by centering the orientation around a theme that the first-year classes will self-select as a representation of their cohort. She says the theme will blend with the HWS and Geneva so that the incoming classes can “create their new identities as the Classes of 2019, members of the HWS student body, and members of the Geneva community.”
To help carry out the activity-packed orientation weekend, Connolly and Budmen are also responsible for hiring a support staff of more than 100 student workers. For Budmen, it’s working with this team of HWS community members and having the ability to “collaborate with every resource on campus to create a memorable introduction for students and families of 2019,” that he’s most looking forward to in his role as Orientation Coordinator.
Connolly also says she’s looking forward to working with a network of HWS students and staff to plan and carry-out a successful Orientation. “The experience of Orientation Coordinator provides the opportunity to access the true pulse of the HWS community,” she says. “Through building meaningful relationships with the faculty and staff at the Colleges, supplemented by the many connections I continue to forge within the student body, I hope to gain a fuller, more authentic perspective of our community.”
As active leaders in the HWS community, Connolly and Budmen know firsthand the importance of being fully integrated into the community. Connolly, a health disparities/biology major, is member of the William Smith varsity lacrosse team, serves as a writing colleague, as well as a tour guide for the Office of Admissions. Through her position as Orientation Coordinator, she hopes to “give a voice” to all those who have encouraged, supported, inspired and challenged her throughout her time at the Colleges.
Budmen, who majors in public policy studies and will return to campus next year for the MAT program, is an Admissions tour guide, Geneva Head Start volunteer, and a Resident Assistant for the Village at Odell’s Pond residences. He also was awarded the 2014 Campus Contact Newman Civic Fellows Award in recognition of his public leadership and dedication to social justice.
Although they’re still in the beginning stages of the planning process, both say they are excited to welcome the Classes of 2019 to the Colleges and to be a part of such an important event for the incoming classes and for the Colleges.
To the Classes of 2019, Connolly advises: “Take advantage of the amazing, supportive community at Hobart and William Smith Colleges by getting to know your peers, the faculty, and the staff. The conversations you will have and the relationships you will develop over the next four years will open so many doors that will enable you to leave your own mark on this special place.”
Members of the incoming classes can connect on the official Classes of 2019 Facebook page.