Colleges Go the Extra Miles During Orientation – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Colleges Go the Extra Miles During Orientation

Aug. 18, 1998

“This Place,” a unique off-campus orientation program will be held again this year for the 504 incoming students of the Hobart and William Smith College Classes of 2002.

Working together, the Colleges’ faculty, staff, and students have created a distinctive orientation that will help the incoming classes get acquainted with not only the campus, as most colleges do, but will also ask them to explore Geneva and the Finger Lakes region including the area’s natural history, its rich cultural history, and the contemporary community.

On Monday, Sept. 7, the students will take part in a range of outings including: a field trip to examine the area’s glacial history, a visit to the Erie Canal; a scientific cruise on Seneca Lake to examine the history recorded in its bottom sediments, a trip to Seneca Falls to tour the birthplace of women’s rights, and an introduction to community service opportunities at several local agencies.

D. Brooks McKinney, the associate dean for academic affairs and professor of geoscience, is overseeing the orientation program that was initiated last year. He said the success and feedback from last year’s incoming class prompted the program to continue and expand.

“‘This Place’ works as an orientation for us because it is both symbolic and representative. It’s symbolic in that it is a reconnoitering, an orientation in the geographic sense, that must precede making decisions about where one is headed. So part of coming to college is about knowing ‘This Place’ where you are now. It’s representative in that it asks students to be active learners – a habit we hope they develop throughout their college years,” McKinney said.

So yes, students will meet friends, discover its buildings, and learn how to register for the Term but they will also greet the Finger Lakes community and all it has to offer.

Hobart College for men and William Smith College for women share a distinctive and historic coordinate relationship. The two private, liberal arts institutions share faculty, facilities, and curriculum, but maintain separate dean's offices, athletic programs, student governments, and traditions, and award separate degrees. Located in Geneva, N.Y., the Colleges have a combined enrollment of about 1,800.