During the 2016 Commencement ceremony, Hobart and William Smith Colleges will award five honorary degrees to individuals whose spirit of service enhances local, national and global communities. They include: Dr. Cheryl L. Dorsey, the president of Echoing Green and a global leader and innovator in the social entrepreneurship movement, who will offer this year’s Commencement address; Judith Hershey Melly, civic leader; Maureen Collins Zupan ’72, P’09, financial planner and chair of the Board of Hobart and William Smith; Joan Hinde Stewart, president of Hamilton College; and John F. Collins P’72, P’74, P’84, P’90, GP’09, GP’12, GP’18, World War II veteran and retired New York City police officer.
The ceremony will mark the 191st graduation for Hobart and the 105th for William Smith.
A Harvard trained physician, Dr. Cheryl L. Dorsey leads Echoing Green, the global social impact organization that supports burgeoning talents and ideas in solving the world’s most pressing problems. Started in 1987, Echoing Green provides seed-stage funding for emerging leaders in social change, aids leadership development in social entrepreneurship movements, and invests in non-profit organizations and for-profit companies that generate social and environmental impact.
Dorsey herself was a social entrepreneur, earning an Echoing Green Fellowship in 1992 to help launch The Family Van, a community-based mobile health unit in Boston. Ten years later, she became the first Echoing Green Fellow to head the social venture fund.
Dorsey earned her bachelor’s degree in history and science magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, her medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and her master’s in public policy from Harvard Kennedy School. She completed her pediatric residency at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC.
Judith Hershey Melly joined the Hobart and William Smith community in 2007 when she married L. Thomas Melly ’52, L.H.D. ’02, honorary trustee and chair emeritus. Over the past decade she has devoted her time, passion and leadership to the prosperity and growth of Hobart and William Smith, most recently through her support of the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts.
A graduate of Smith College, Melly is a longtime supporter of her own alma mater as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and various charities in Greenwich, Conn., and Sarasota, Fla. At the same time, she maintains a leadership role in managing and overseeing significant family farms in the Midwest.
A trustee of the Colleges since 1994, Maureen Collins Zupan ’72, P’09 is the first William Smith alumna to serve as chair of the Board of Trustees. With more than 44 years of experience in the financial services industry, Zupan recently retired as owner and partner at Madison Financial Planning Group. As a Trustee of the Colleges, she has served on numerous committees and as vice chair of the board for 14 years. She was one of the tri-chairs of Campaign for the Colleges and provided instrumental leadership during the celebration of William Smith College’s Centennial when she served on the Centennial Steering and Fund Committees.
In her home community, she has served as president of the Cazenovia Children’s House, secretary of the Cazenovia Area Community Development Association, member of the Steering Committee for the Syracuse Children’s Hospital and chair of community fundraising for the Crouse Hospital Foundation’s annual gala. She is an emeritus trustee of the Upstate University Foundation and has been a member of the Foundation Board for SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Joan Hinde Stewart became president of Hamilton College in 2003 and will retire in June 2016. The first female president in the college’s 200-year history, Stewart was previously dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of French at the University of South Carolina. Stewart also taught at Wellesley College and North Carolina State University, where she served as chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures from 1985 to 1997. She also served as assistant dean for research and graduate programs for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Stewart is the first in her family to earn a college degree, graduating summa cum laude from St. Joseph’s College and earning her Ph.D. from Yale University.
A lauded scholar of 18th-century French literature, Stewart has earned fellowships from Yale University, the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier, France. She has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University in England, and a fellow at the Liguria Study Center for the Arts and Letters in Bogliasco, Italy.
John F. Collins P’72, P’74, P’84, P’90, GP’09, GP’12, GP’18 grew up in New York and served on the USS Fremont in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. He served with the New York City Police Department for 23 years, 17 of those years on harbor patrol duty, before relocating to Geneva in 1978 when he retired. His daughters — Maureen Collins Zupan ’72, P’09, Jean Collins Van Etten ’74, Joan Collins Dosky ’84 and Frances Collins Rogers ’90 — attended HWS, as have his grandchildren, Cathleen Zupan ’09, Caroline Dosky ’12 and Nicholas Dosky ’18.
Collins has served many roles at the Colleges, from managing the HWS research vessel, now known as the William Scandling, to serving as vehicle pool coordinator, administrative assistant for the Statesmen lacrosse program, and driver for the President’s Forum Speaker Series. In 1992, along with his daughters, he established the Collins Family Scholarship to provide financial support to deserving students. He received the Maxwell Award in 2006 and, in recognition of his generous gifts to Hobart and William Smith, was inducted into the Cook Parents Circle. The Hobart Class of 2012 made Collins an honorary member with gratitude for his friendship and support.
For more information about this year’s graduation ceremony, visit the Commencement home page.