This year’s Reunion celebration marked a series of exceptional firsts, including the historic, all-time giving record set by the Classes of 1966, which raised more than $10 million since their last milestone Reunion in 2011. This is the largest amount ever raised by a 50th Reunion Class. Their efforts were lauded on Saturday afternoon during the Reunion Forum on the Quad, where they were collectively bestowed the prestigious President’s Medal, another first.
As President Mark D. Gearan reflected, the Classes of 1966 “were here at an important moment in the history of our nation and the Colleges. It was the era of the civil rights movement, women’s rights and feminism, the Vietnam War. When the Classes of 1966 came to campus as freshmen, they had curfews and wore beanie hats. By the time they left, it was the Summer of Love. Nearly every innovation the Colleges have made in the past 50 years can be traced in some way back to these Classes. Through your service to your country, your professions, your families and your alma mater, you have brought great honor to the Colleges.”
Traditionally, the President’s Medal has been presented to distinguished individuals in celebration of their outstanding service to the community, the country and their profession. This year’s presentation to the Classes of 1966 marked the first time in Colleges’ history that the Medal has been collectively awarded to a class.
With more than 1,200 alumni, alumnae and guests on campus, representing more than 50 classes, the Classes of 1966 also had the highest attendance turnout with 39 percent of their classes returning.
During the Reunion Forum, the service of alumni and alumnae was also recognized, with the conferring of annual honors. Dr. Jeremy Cushman ’96, the Hobart Alumni Association President, and Aloysee Heredia Jarmoszuk ’98, the William Smith Alumnae Association President, presented Association citations, the Young Alum Awards, the Hobart Distinguished Service Award and The Elizabeth Herendeen Odell Award.
This year’s recipients of the Hobart alumni citations include: Charles “Woody” Jewett ’66, Trustee John Ross ’66, Trustee Calvin “Chip” Carver ’81, Trustee Craig Stine ’81, P’17, former Trustee Edward Cooper ’86, P’16, Steven Hubbard ’91, Scott O’Sullivan ’91, James Baker ’96 and Michael Mills ’96. Recipients of the William Smith alumnae citations include: Susan Quinone ’71, Trustee Dr. Deborah Pilla ’76, Holly Adam ’81, former Trustee Anita “Penny” Barker Weeks ’81, Laura Lorusso Peterson ’91 and Xiomara Hall ’96.
The Young Alumnus Award was presented to Greg Snyder ’01 and the Young Alumna Awards were presented Dr. Esther Vivas ’01, Rachel Henderson ’06, Hadley Sosnoff ’06, Amanda Shaw ’11 and Joanna “JoJo” Vinick ’11.
Presented by the Hobart Alumni Association to an alumnus who has made exceptional contributions throughout his life to the alumni programs of Hobart College, the Distinguished Service Award was presented this year to Eric Lax ’66, L.H.D. ‘93 and John Norvell ’66, P’99, P’02.
Like the Distinguished Service Award, the Elizabeth Herendeen Odell Award is the Alumnae Association’s highest honor for service to William Smith, this year presented to Katherine D. Elliott ’66, L.H.D. ’08.
In total, classes celebrating Reunion raised more than $1.7 million for the Colleges this year, including:
- The Classes of 1966 gave a total of $302,164 to the Annual Fund this year alone, and a total of $10,441,421 since 2011.
- The Classes of 1971 raised $53,695 for the Annual Fund this year, and in the five years since their 40th Reunion raised $481,400.
- The Classes of 1976 collectively gave $100,400, bringing their total giving since 2011 to $685,091.
- The Classes of 1981 raised $189,682 this year, and $2,224,306 in the past five years.
- The Classes of 1986 raised $146,051 this year, with a total of $556,751 since their 25th Reunion.
- The Classes of 1991 raised $113,351 for the Annual Fund, and, in the five years since their 20th Reunion, raised $252,805. This represents a record giving amount for a 25th Reunion Class.
- The Classes of 1996 brought in $34,775 and raised $142,950 since their 15th Reunion.
- The Classes of 2001 secured $6,240 for the Colleges’ Annual Fund and raised $44,037 since their 10th Reunion.
- The Classes of 2006 contributed $6,678, and a total of $42,467 since their 5th Reunion.
- The Classes of 2011 raised $7,108, bringing their total since graduating to $51,248.
- The Classes of 1936 to 1965, members of the Encore Reunion Classes, this year alone contributed a total of $756,516, while the Classes of 2016 raised $11,448 in their first class gift to the Annual Fund.
At the close of the forum, the Classes of 1966 joined President Gearan on the stage for the presentation of the President’s Medal and a standing ovation in recognition of their longstanding support and devotion to HWS.