Robin Toner Joins President’s Forum Lecture Series – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Robin Toner Joins President’s Forum Lecture Series

Hobart and William Smith Colleges welcome New York Times domestic policy and national politics writer

(Nov. 22, 2004) GENEVA, N.Y.– For the past year, New York Times writer Robin Toner has been busy following the Presidential election. Topics for her front-page stories have ranged from the decline of the Southern Democrat to critiques of the candidates' health plans, as well as debate coverage and the latest campaign poll findings.

The senior writer in the Times' Washington Bureau, who covers domestic policy and national politics, is the next speaker in the President's Forum lecture series at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Toner presents “Reflections on the 2004 Campaign” at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 29, in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the Colleges campus.

In more than 20 years at the Times, Toner has covered four Presidential campaigns, numerous Congressional and state elections, and scores of legislative battles–from health care to civil liberties. She was the first woman to be named political correspondent at the newspaper, a position she held from 1989 through the 1992 election. She has also served as chief of correspondents on the national desk and as Congressional correspondent.

In the course of her 27-year newspaper career, which began at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail, Toner has reported stories from 45 states. Before joining the Times, she was a political reporter for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.

A native of Chadds Ford, Pa., Toner graduated from Syracuse University in 1976, summa cum laude. She majored in political science and journalism, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Peter Gosselin, national economics correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, and their son and daughter.

The President's Forum Series, established in the winter of 2000 by HWS President Mark D. Gearan, is designed to bring a variety of speakers to campus to share their knowledge and ideas with students, faculty and staff of the Colleges, as well as interested community members.


Toner was featured in the Nov. 26 Finger Lakes Times. Also looking forward to her talk were Lauren Shallish '05, who said in the story she hopes Toner will speak about the media in general, not just the New York Times, and provide a historical synopsis of the media’s involvement in political affairs.

Mary Anne Hanna, wife of Hobart athletics director Mike Hanna, said she is particularly intrigued by the question-and-answer sessions that typically follow the speeches.

“It’s interesting to hear how the speakers answer questions that are pretty poignant from these students,” Hanna said. “I would never ask a question. I just prefer to sit and listen to the students.”