On Sunday, May 15, the Classes of 2005 made the transition from students to alums at the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Commencement ceremony.
The ceremony marked the 180th Commencement for Hobart College and the 94th for William Smith College. A total of 433 bachelor’s degrees were awarded to 172 students from Hobart College and 261 from William Smith College. Hobart and William Smith Colleges awarded seven Master of Arts in Teaching degrees to the first of the program’s graduates.
In his valedictory address President Mark D. Gearan touched on opportunity, “As college graduates from one of the finest liberal arts institutions in the nation, you become part of an elite statistic: only one percent of humanity receives a college education. Use it wisely.”
He also recounted the journey of these graduating classes, from experiencing 9/11 as first-year students to ice storms, study abroad and the growth of the HWS campus, and encouraged graduates to take these experiences with them when they create their own legacy.
“And pass on important lessons as teachers: to your colleagues, your neighbors, family, spouse or partner,” Gearan said.
Student addresses were given by Regina M. Assetta of Wilmington, N.Y., and Paul M. McNeil of Spencer, Mass.
Former White House press secretary and political analyst Dee Dee Myers advised graduates from the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Classes of 2005 to take risks, expect the unexpected—including failure—and learn from mistakes. She also spoke to them of new opportunities.
“By finishing college, you now have access to the kinds of opportunities reserved only for those with degrees. Today, you have options you simply didn’t have yesterday,” she said.
Four honorary degrees were awarded to Myers, Jane Shepard Ritter ’48, a woman committed to public service as a “professional volunteer” to the United Way and as an Honorary Trustee; a former Governor of the New York Stock Exchange Arthur E. de Cordova ’56, and Ruth Freeman, Ph.D., interim provost and dean of the faculty at HWS.
A photo page of Commencement 2005 is available at “Commencement 2005.