Mark Gearan Discusses Service Learning in the 21st Century – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Mark Gearan Discusses Service Learning in the 21st Century

October 31, 2001

BALTIMORE, Md.–Mark D. Gearan, the president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the former director of the Peace Corps, discussed “Service Learning in the 21st Century” with a group of headmasters and counselors from Baltimore area schools at a luncheon on October 10 at The Gilman School.

The event was arranged as a way to introduce Gearan, a national leader in service learning, to the heads of 17 independent schools in the Baltimore area. Gearan was welcomed at the luncheon by the new head of The Gilman School, Jon C. McGill. He was introduced by Charles H. Salisbury, Jr., president and director of Salisbury Broadcasting Corp., a 1963 graduate of Hobart College and current chair of the Colleges Board of Trustees.

Gearan praised today's youth commitment to service that has gone unnoticed by many. “My four years in the Peace Corps and visiting many, many campuses around the country recruiting and talking with students tells me this media hype that “Gen Y'ers” are slackers is just a hoax. I am struck by their commitment to service and volunteerism, and the commitment to internationalism that exists,” Gearan said.

While serving as president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Gearan was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve on the board of directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which engages Americans of all backgrounds in community-based service through such programs as Americorps and Service Corps. Additionally, he serves on the board of the National Campus Compact and as co-chair of the New York Campus Compact Executive Committee, an organization of college presidents who are committed to the goals of public service, civic engagement, and service learning.

At the talk Gearan also discussed the Colleges commitment to service learning. “At Hobart and William Smith, we understand that the best education is not restricted to theory alone, but takes advantage of experiences outside the classroom as well,” Gearan said. Many of the Colleges courses, across disciplines, incorporate a community service component in order to help students become better world citizens, as well as experience a richer understanding of themselves.

Later in the day, Gearan spoke at the Maryland Science Center to a group of prominent Baltimore community members who are graduates of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Attendees included Salisbury, Henry A. Rosenberg, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer for Crown Central Petroleum Corp., and Thomas S. Bozzuto, president and chief executive officer of Bozzuto Associates. Rebecca Fox, the former dean of William Smith College, also attended. Gearan presented the group with a state of the Colleges address that included plans and drawings of the 30,000-square-foot academic building that the Colleges intend to start building in the spring.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are coordinate, private, liberal arts institutions, located in Geneva, N.Y. in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. The Colleges, which have a combined enrollment of 1,800, offer a remarkably broad array of majors and minors, with a cross-disciplinary flavor intended to better inform both professional and intellectual pursuits. The Colleges are noted also for an ambitious emphasis on international study, and for their programs in community service. Hobart College for men and William Smith College for women share faculty, facilities, and curriculum, but maintain separate dean's offices, athletics programs, student governments, and traditions.

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