With approximately 500 more donors than last year giving back to the Colleges, this year marked the best participation the Colleges have seen in nine years. The shared sense of commitment to “give back and get back” to HWS was felt by all in attendance at the President’s 2015 Reunion Forum on the Quad, and throughout the entire Reunion weekend.
“This has been one of the best years in recent history for overall annual giving at the Colleges,” said Assistant Vice President, Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Jared Weeden ’91 during the forum. “In total, more than 5,800 donors contributed in this Fund year. The momentum is clearly in the Colleges’ favor.”
The Forum provides the Alumnae and Alumni Associations with an opportunity to recognize the extraordinary level of service that so many alums have given to the Colleges. In addition to announcing the annual giving totals for each of the Reunion Classes, the Forum also honors outstanding alumnae and alumni whose stalwart efforts to give back and stay involved with the Colleges have had a truly transformative impact on the lives of the students, faculty and staff.
This year, the Classes of 1965 had more to celebrate than just their 50th Reunion. The Classes led the way for participation and money given back, with a 60 percent participation rate and a total of $93,942 raised. Since their 45th Reunion, the Classes raised an impressive total of over $1.2 million. The Hobart Class of 1965 also took home three Lifetime Service Awards, the Alumni Associations highest honor presented to an alumnus who has made exceptional contributions throughout his life to the alumni programs of Hobart College. Dr. James Anderton ’65, Robert Kandel ’65, and Frank Schroeder ’65 were the recipients of the prestigious award.
During Reunion, the William Smith Alumnae Association presented The Hon. Shireen Avis Fisher ’70, currently a Justice of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, with the Alumna Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Association, as well as a lifetime achievement award. Pat Genovese P’01, P’03, P’05, P’08, legendary William Smith Lacrosse coach and recently retired member of the Colleges’ Advancement staff, was also recognized with a lifetime achievement award from both the Alumni and Alumnae Associations for her commitment to the Colleges and the far-reaching impact she’s had on campus and beyond.
Several other alumnae and alumni were recognized and honored for their outstanding dedication to the continued growth and vitality of the Colleges. President of the Hobart Alumni Association Dr. Jeremy Cushman ’96 and President of the William Smith Alumnae Association Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk ’98 presented the Alumni and Alumnae Citations, respectively, as well as the Young Alum Awards and two joint Citation awards.
Receiving citations from the Hobart Alumni Association were: Kurt Dossin ’75, Hans Kaiser ’80, Jeff Gerson ’85, P’16, Craig Stevens ’85 and Jon Fogle ’90. Those presented citations by the William Smith Alumnae Association include: Ellen Levine Opell ’60, Joan Hinton Hurd ’65, Lynne Friedlander ’80, P’10, Naz Vahid-Ahdieh ’85, Margarita Ramos ’85 and Katherine Schoettle ’75, P’03.
Jarmoszuk also presented three William Smith Alumnae with the Young Alumna Award, given to those who have graduated within the last 15 years and have shown exceptional volunteer service and commitment to the Colleges. Jennifer Leshnower ’00, Caroline Wenzel Chapman ’05, and Caterina Caiazza Tempest ’05 were all presented with the award. Steve Nanfara ’00 and Derrick Moore ’05 were awarded the Young Alumnus Award from the Hobart Alumni Association.
After giving their individual citations, the Hobart and the William Smith Alumni and Alumnae Associations came together to award two joint citations to exemplary members of the HWS community who left a lasting impact on the Colleges. The Rev. Lesley Adams HON’12, HON’15, L.H.D. ’15, chaplain of the Colleges, and Lorinda Weinstock P’01, retired Hillel Advisor and former director of the Abbe Center for Jewish Life were presented with joint citation awards.
After honoring alumni and alumnae for their individual efforts to give back to the Colleges, the Alumni and Alumnae Associations recognized each class year for their group efforts to increase participation rates and raise record-breaking amounts in this Fund year. While the Classes of 1965 set the bar high for all the Classes ending in 0 and 5 in attendance at Reunion 2015, each class year made outstanding contributions to the Colleges in their own right.
The Classes of 1970 raised $46,159 this year, and $517,990 since their 40th Reunion. The Classes of 1975 contributed $103,647 to the Annual Fund this year, and raised $647,555 since Reunion 2010. The Classes of 1980 raised $36,277 this year and $378,345 since their 30th Reunion. The Classes of 1985 raised $64,339 for the Annual Fund this year, and $425,498 since their 25th Reunion. The Classes of 1990 raised $27,079 this year, and $103,785 since their 20th Reunion. The Classes of 1995 gave $25,877 to the Annual Fund this year, and raised a total of $242,159 since their 15th Reunion. The Classes of 2000 raised $7,610 this year, and $51,402 since Reunion 2010. The Classes of 2005 raised $5,000 for the Annual Fund, and totaled $34,533 since their 5th Reunion. Attending their first Reunion, the Classes of 2010 raised $5,887 this Fund year, and a total of $54,526 since graduating in 2010.
The newly minted Classes of 2015 also made a significant contribution to the fund this year, bringing in $9,114 with their first class gift to the Annual Fund. The 50th PLUS group in attendance was also recognized, having raised a total of $793,334 among the class years ranging from 1936 to 1964 in the Fund year.
The awards concluded with the coveted Reunion Attendance Trophies, given to the class years with the highest percentage of alumni and alumnae on campus at Reunion this year. Both the Hobart and the William Smith Classes of 1965 took home the award this year, with the Hobart Class of 1965 seeing a 33 percent attendance rate, and the William Smith Class of 1965 a 40 percent turnout.
The Forum concluded with closing remarks from President Mark D. Gearan, as well as the singing of the alma maters led by Karoline Loretan ’17, Samantha Shaffner’17, Julia Wasserman ’17, Liam Allman ’15, Brenna Earle ’15, Kelly Scharr ’15 and Nicolas Stewart ’15.
“Let me join Jared and Kathy in congratulating the dedication and commitment of the volunteers and honorees we have honored today,” Gearan said. “Whether you graduated 79-years-ago, 50 years, or even 5 years ago, I know that although some things have changed – buildings, names and perhaps faces – this is still your Hobart and William Smith, a place grounded in community and a community dedicated to preparing students for lives of consequence.”