“Life here at Hobart and William Smith is full of optimism, said Debra DeMeis, dean of William Smith College, at Saturday afternoon’s Centennial High Tea. “There is a great energy and enthusiasm that is moving the Colleges forward. A major contributor to that sense of energy has been the William Smith Centennial.
The Centennial High Tea drew a crowd of alumni and alumnae to the future home of the William Smith Centennial Center for Leadership at 603 South Main Street. But while the Centennial may be a celebration of the past 100 years of William Smith College, it was the future that was on everyone's mind.
Maureen Collins Zupan ’72, P’09, vice-chair of the Board of Trustees, encouraged alumnae to take a leading role in the support of the Colleges. “It is vital that we step up and take responsibility for the future of Hobart and William Smith, she said.
It’s a future that is increasingly bright, Zupan noted, drawing attention to major contributions by Trustee and Centennial Honorary Committee Member Katherine D. Elliott ’66 who made the lead gift to create the The Katherine D. Elliott Studio Arts Center, and Trustee and Centennial Fund Committee member Cynthia Gelsthorpe Fish ’82 who recently donated the lead gift in the renovation of 603 South Main Street into the Center for Leadership. “These gifts will be a reminder to future women that this generation saw it was time to take leadership roles and to make a difference – and they did.
Susan Lloyd Yolen ’72, president of the William Smith Alumnae Council, noted that of the $8 million goal set to support the Centennial Center for Leadership, $5.4 million has already been donated. Pointing out Fish in the midst of attendees, Yolen said: “Let’s raise our glasses in a toast to Cynthia Fish and to 100 years of William Smith College!
The Centennial observance is happening concurrent with the public phase of Campaign for the Colleges. William Smith College intends to attract $15 million to the campaign; $8 million of which will establish the new Centennial Center for Leadership. These funds will be used to more deliberately guide students in understanding the concept of leadership, to create opportunities for them to study with experienced and successful women leaders, and to provide them with empirical leadership-building opportunities.
For more information about the William Smith Centennial Celebration, please visit the official Web site.