Alumnae speak at Founder’s Day Dinner – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Alumnae speak at Founder’s Day Dinner

On Tuesday, Jan. 31, the women of William Smith gathered in Comstock Dining Hall for one of the college’s long-standing traditions, the Founder’s Day Dinner.

In honor of founder William Smith, two alumnae, Alison Propeck Harrity ’95 and Deborah Piltch ’83, returned to share their words of wisdom. William Smith Congress president Kate Allen said these women were chosen “because they have pushed boundaries in their professional lives.”

Harrity, an Episcopal priest, shared the story of her calling. She noted that the caring environment of William Smith and the support of friends she met here were some of the biggest reasons she was able to enter the priesthood confidently.

She praised the college for fostering the idea that it is not about being “successful” in life, but rather following your passion and heading the call to help others.

Piltch, an attorney who has been at the forefront of the disability law movement, remembered the college as “a place where people are willing to take you under their wing and help you fight and follow your dreams.”

She emphasized her close relationship with professors, commenting that she found it inspiring to have instructors who said that they learn from their students each day.

Senior Lauren Neidhardt said she enjoyed this event because “events like this foster solidarity in our community.” A fellow classmate shared this sentiment, adding that “the unique traditions of William Smith College are why most students came here in the first place.”