High School Educators Recognized at Commencement 2004
(May 13, 2004) GENEVA, N.Y.– This year, the Trustees of Hobart and William Smith Colleges initiated the “Touching the Future” Award to recognize teachers from preschool to high school who have made an impact on a graduating senior. One teacher of a Hobart student and one teacher of a William Smith student will receive the inaugural award during Hobart's 179th and William Smith's 93rd Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 16.
William Smith senior Lisa DeLucia of Rochester, N.Y., successfully nominated her Greece Athena English teacher Carl Gianforte for the honor. As she states in her nomination, “I left Mr. Gianforte's sophomore year English class with a complete toolbox of survival skills.”
Hobart senior Emmanuel Rodriguez of Brooklyn, N.Y., nominated Dr. Barbara Rowes of the English department at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Arts. “For her genuine interest in me, her initiative, her persistence, her passion for seeing her students succeed, and her genuine drive in helping me get one step closer to a dream, I cannot help but be extremely grateful,” wrote Rodriguez.
Commencement 2004 will begin at 10:30 a.m. on the Hobart Quadrangle (rain location Bristol Field House). Bachelor's degrees are scheduled to be awarded to 183 students from Hobart College and 241 from William Smith College.
Another highlight of the ceremony will be an address by Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's “Hardball.” Matthews is one of five individuals to receive an honorary degree from the Colleges. The others are: financial adviser Will K. Weinstein '60; Emily H. Fisher, founder of the Fisher Center at HWS; Grady E. Jensen'44, retired business executive; and Chinese politics scholar Elizabeth J. Perry '69.
The opening prayer will be offered by HWS Chaplain Rev. Lesley Adams, and the valedictory address will be given by President Mark D. Gearan. Student speakers are Evan A. Griswold of East Stroudsburg, Penn., and Heather M. Harris of Morgantown, W.Va.
Three members of the Classes of 2004, who died in two separate car accidents in 2000, also will be remembered during the ceremony: Emily Collins and Rachel Nargiso, both of Norwich, N.Y., and William H. Everett III of Lewisburg, Pa. Read the story from the May 14 Democrat and Chronicle.