Cultivating a commitment to service among 21st century students, Gearan greets area headmasters.
January 25, 2002 RYE, N.Y.—The area’s top headmasters met last night with Mark D. Gearan, former director of the Peace Corps and current president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, to discuss the growing commitment of today’s youth to service.
Gearan, an expert in the field, serves on the board of directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees such programs as AmeriCorps and Service Corps. He also serves on the National Board of Governors of The Partnership of Public Service in Washington, D.C., a new organization aimed at revitalizing public service by encouraging young people to pursue federal service careers. Additionally, he sits 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.
Last week, Gearan joined Coretta Scott King at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Summit in Atlanta, Ga., to discuss “The New Citizenship.”
“The youth of today is perceived as non-committal to social justice and service by those who grew up in the activist 60s and 70s. This is not the case,” said Gearan in support of today’s young men and women. “While those of a past generation were out to change the world, young people today practice a more pragmatic optimism that they may not be able to change the world, but they can make a difference in their part of it.”
The gathering was held at the home of Fred Pagnani on Park Drive South. Pagnani’s daughter, Vanessa, is currently a junior at William Smith College, his daughter, Allyson Pagnani Martin, graduated from William Smith in 1982, and his son, Frederick J. Pagnani, Jr., graduated from Hobart College in 1985. The secondary school personnel from the Westchester and Greenwich area included: Walter C. Johnson, headmaster at Hackley School; Scott Nelson, headmaster at Rye Country Day School; and Doug Burdett, director of college counseling at Brunswick School.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges are coordinate, private, liberal arts institutions, located in Geneva, N.Y.. The Colleges 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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