To commemorate their time at the Colleges, members of the Hobart Class of 2016 were each presented with replicas of the paddle used by the Seneca warrior Agayentah during the annual Hobart Launch ceremony at the Bozzuto Boathouse on Friday. The paddles are given in celebration of Hobart’s heritage and with the promise of a reciprocal lifelong bond between graduates and their alma mater. The tradition is the official welcome to the graduating class from the Hobart Alumni Association.
Student speaker Dennis O’Connell ’16 reflected that such traditions “celebrate the bonds between individuals that were once complete strangers; they honor the memory of all those who have laid the groundwork for aspirations of high achievement; and they commemorate the lesson of giving back.”
During his address, Dr. Jeremy Cushman ’96, president of the Hobart Alumni Association, assured seniors that as they graduate and begin the next phases of their lives, “You will not forget your time here.”
Cushman, who will soon join the HWS Board of Trustees, recognized outgoing Trustee Edward R. Cooper ’86, P’16, P’19 for his “countless hours on behalf of his alma mater.” Cooper has served on the Alumni Council since 2001 and as Trustee since 2012.
Earlier, Cooper and his wife, Robin Savits Cooper ’87, P’16, P’19, offered a keynote address to the Classes of 2016 during Commencement Rehearsal on the Quad. They urged the graduates to give back by staying connected.
“The value of your degree grows with HWS whether that means giving something to the Annual Fund each year, being a contact in career services for an internship or job placement, returning to campus for homecoming and reunion, or wearing HWS gear around,” Edward Cooper said.
The event also marked the election of outgoing student trustee Maxwell Gorton ’16 as class correspondent for the Alumni Association.
After the benediction and the singing of the alma mater, led by Hobart Dean Eugene Baer P’95, P’97, HON’07 the members of the Hobart Class of 2016 formed a procession to receive a paddle and then dip it into the waters of Seneca Lake.
As Jared Weeden ’91, assistant vice president for advancement and director of alumni relations, noted, “For many of us, the lake was the first thing that wowed us when we approached Geneva. So it is only appropriate that this historic ending of your student days takes place here, as Hobart prepares to send you off and welcome you at the same time.”
At the celebration, special Hobart cigars were provided to the class courtesy of William ’85 and Laurence ’92 Sherman, who own Nat Sherman Cigar Company. Saranac Beer was provided courtesy of Fred Matt ’81, owner of FX Matt Brewing Company.