BOSTON–Hobart and William Smith Colleges have an active and vital club in metropolitan Boston with more than 2,000 alumni, alumnae, parents and students living in the Boston area. This fall, Hobart and William Smith Colleges President Mark D. Gearan gave a State of the Colleges Address at the Charles Hotel that was attended by several of those alums, including HWS trustee Barbara Tornow, a 1965 William Smith graduate, who is the executive director of financial assistance at Boston University.
Gearan, the former director of the Peace Corps who was named president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1999, presented the gathering with plans to build a $6 million, 30,000-square-foot academic building. Construction on the three-story building will begin in March and will be completed by fall 2003. Gearan said the need for more academic space was identified in a recent planning process.
“The new building sends a signal of the confidence we have in our future and the continued generosity and support of our alumni and alumnae,” Gearan said.
Gearan was introduced by Boston club President Gail Carpenter, a 1991 William Smith graduate, who coordinated the event along with Boston club vice president Kelly Rush, a 1998 Hobart graduate. Other alums in the Boston area include Worth Douglas '67, the coordinator of Branch Capital Planning and Implementation for the Boston Public Library and HWS honorary trustee, and Dr. Priscilla Schaffer '64, a professor of medicine, microbiology and molecular genetics at Harvard Medical School and former HWS trustee. A special thanks was given to Chris Coffin '83, hotel manager at the Charles Hotel, for facilitating the accommodations.
Gearan shared other good news with group: early decision applications have risen about 116 percent during the past four years, the enrolled classes consists of more students from the top 10 percent of their high school classes, and recent speakers to visit campus have included President Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, 2000 Presidential candidate Alan Keyes, and human rights activist Kerry Kennedy Cuomo. Other building plans are also underway for a new art studio, waterfront development (the campus is situated on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes), and an expansion of the student union.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges are coordinate, private, liberal arts institutions, located in Geneva, N.Y. The Colleges, which have a combined enrollment of 1,800, 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.