HWS President Gives Message of Service in Commencement Address at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts
February 8, 2000 Geneva, NY – When Hobart and William Smith Colleges President Mark D. Gearan delivered the Commencement address at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts on January 28, he encouraged the 500-plus graduates to find ways to incorporate service to others into their daily lives.
Gearan posited that the question for everyone as we move into the 21st century is how we as individuals can help solve the many basic but often daunting problems that confront our society and our world. He told students that when they grew old, they would look back on their lives and reflect upon what was most important to them. “I'm confident that what will be the most important will be the knowledge that you've contributed something to society,” he said, “that you've given something back.”
Gearan, at 43 one of the youngest college presidents in the country, gave that message from the heart, and from experience. Most recently as director of the Peace Corps, Gearan has made service to others a key component in his own life. When he took over the reigns at Hobart and William Smith, he and his family moved here and immediately became involved in campus life and community life in Geneva.
Bridgewater State also presented Gearan with an honorary degree, his 12th. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree – the citation noting the great strides forward made by the Peace Corps under his leadership as well as his “commitment to high academic standards, [his] reputation for character and integrity, and [his] extraordinary record of accomplishment.”
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