The Alumni Association of Hobart College and The Alumnae Association of William Smith College will jointly award The Distinguished Faculty Awards for 2008 to the late William G. Hosking ’47, P’74, Professor of Economics; and the late Valerie C. Saiving, Professor of Religious Studies.
The Distinguished Faculty Award was established to recognize the importance that graduates of these Colleges place on the contributions of the outstanding faculty members of the past.
Hosking, a Geneva native and Hobart alumnus of 1947, began teaching as a graduate assistant at Cornell in 1948, while pursuing his M.S., which he received in 1949. He began teaching at HWS as an instructor in 1948, and received his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1955. Eventually becoming a professor of economics, he remained at the Colleges for nearly 25 years, serving as the chair of the department. He also served as president of the New York State Economics Association and as the mayor of the City of Geneva. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he died in 1974.
President Allan Kuusisto wrote at the time of Hosking’s death that “Hobart and William Smith Colleges have lost one of their most respected senior faculty members … Bill was one of the most popular faculty members with students and alumni and alumnae and was a dedicated community leader as well.” His wife, Mary Hosking, former Director of William Smith Athletics and a founding member of the Heron Society, also served the Colleges – as a professor, coach, and administrator — for more than 20 years.
Saiving taught Religious Studies at the Colleges from 1959 to 1987. Her article, “The Human Situation,” published in 1960 in the Journal of Religion, is often listed as the single most important and influential piece of writing in the invention of feminist religion in the United States in the 20th Century. Also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, she received her B.A. in 1943 from Bates College and went on to earn her M.A. and Ph.D., the latter in 1966, from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. She was a co-founder the HWS Department of Religious Studies with Richard Heaton, also since deceased, and of the Women’s Studies program, which was one of the first in the nation; her influence continues in today’s programs at the Colleges.
“One of the pleasant memories I have was the sense of solidarity I had when I came here in the 1970s,” says Mary Gerhart, Professor Emerita of Religious Studies. “Saiving and Heaton supported each other and would support me, too.”
Alumni House will assemble books of acknowledgments from former students, faculty, friends and family, which will be presented to the honorees’ families during the DFA ceremonies. If you would like to include your remarks, please send them on your letterhead by mail, fax or e-mail no later than March 14.
Send letters of acknowledgments to Jared Weeden ’91, Director of Alumni Relations, Alumni House, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY 14456; fax them to (315) 781-3767; or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.