June 18, 2001
GENEVA, N.Y.-Mark D. Gearan, president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, offered the keynote address at the Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes award dinner held June 12 at Club 86 in Geneva.
The award dinner is an annual fund raising event that honors local residents for their service to the Finger Lakes region. Helen Mosher Barben of Seneca Falls, the Rev. Daniel T. Benedict of Newark, and James J. Dooley of Geneva received awards. Bishop Matthew H. Clark also attended the event.
During his keynote address Gearan praised the civic involvement of today's youth that aids many of the same efforts as Catholic Charities such as nutrition outreach, support to families, and community development. “I think that most Americans should be very hopeful for the future of our country based on America's young people. I am struck by their commitment to service and volunteerism, and their commitment to internationalism,” Gearan said.
While Hobart and William Smith Colleges have always had an active and progressive community service program, under Gearan's leadership the Colleges have increased community awareness to the program and expanded its offerings.
Before being named president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1999, Gearan served as the director of the Peace Corps. He currently serves on the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees such national programs as Americorps and Service Corps. Additionally, Gearan is co-chair of the newly founded 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.
In Geneva, Gearan is a member of the Geneva Rotary, sits on the board of the Geneva Free Library, and aids such organizations as the Community Lunch Program and Habitat for Humanity.