Former Assembly leader to speak at Hobart Launch – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
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Former Assembly leader to speak at Hobart Launch

Members of the Hobart College Class of 2007 and alumni of the College will gather for the annual Senior Launch ceremony at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 8.

Paul A. Tokasz '69, P'89, a former state Assembly majority leader, will be the alumnus speaker. Tokasz served in the state Assembly for 18 years, retiring in early January 2007, when he was named a partner in the Buffalo office of Patricia Lynch Associates, a governmental affairs and media relations firm that also has offices in Albany and White Plains.

He was first elected to office in a special election in March 1988, representing one town, two villages and part of the East Side of the City of Buffalo that comprise the 143rd district. In January 2001, he was appointed Assembly Majority Leader by Speaker Sheldon Silver. In that post, Tokasz directed the daily operations of the Assembly, led activity on the floor, set the day's agenda and oversaw debate and votes. He held the post until his retirement earlier this year.

While attending Hobart, the American history major was a member of Theta Delta Chi and the baseball and football teams. After graduating from Hobart, Tokasz earned a master's degree in education from Buffalo State College and taught in the Buffalo public schools for several years before seeking elected office.

A prominent participant in Hobart alumni activity, Tokasz is a member of the Hobart Statesman Athletic Association and an Alumni Admission Volunteer. He served as president of the Hobart Club of Buffalo from 1980 to 1985 and has attended past reunions and other Colleges’ events. He delivered the Napier Leadership Seminar Dinner Keynote Address to Statesmen student-athletes in February 2003 received a Hobart Alumni Association Citation in June 2003, during his 35th-year class Reunion.

While in the Assembly, he was an adjunct instructor in State University of New York at Buffalo's law school. His daughter Kristie Ann Tokasz Kantor is a 1989 William Smith graduate.

Launch is an annual Hobart tradition whereby graduating Hobart seniors are inducted into the Alumni Association. The ceremony takes place on the dock at Bozzuto Boat House and includes a reception and remarks by alumni and students. Each graduating senior will receive a miniature paddle embossed with his class year, and a Hobart cigar provided by Bill ’85 and Larry ’92 Sherman of the Nat Sherman Cigar Co.