With a focus on political change, the President's Forum Series at Hobart and William Smith Colleges will welcome Silda Wall Spitzer, First Lady of the State of New York, at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 5 in the library’s Geneva Room.
Bringing her life experience as a lawyer, not-for-profit founder, advocate for youth volunteering and service, New York’s First Lady will present a talk, “The Role of Service in Fostering Community and Economic Revitalization in New York State,” that will focus on her efforts to build community and promote civic engagement.
Spitzer is the Chair of the New York State Commission on National and Community Service, the state entity committed to building strong service programs, expanding a state-wide volunteer base, and promoting the Governor’s vision of “One New York.” Her work with the Commission serves as a direct link to her “I Live New York” initiative, which identifies service and volunteerism as critical factors in the next generation’s perception of attractive communities to live and work.
A long-standing proponent of community and public service, Spitzer is Founding Chair emeritus of Children for Children, a New York not-for-profit that creates opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to volunteer and perform service at an early age. Each year, Children for Children's programs engage nearly 50,000 youth in hands-on service.
An active participant in New York policy-making, Spitzer has led the Greening the Mansion Initiative and the related Green Residential Building Initiative to complement and advance the Governor's efforts to reduce New York's energy consumption by 15 percent by the year 2015. She also created the Young Leaders Congress, a group of young leaders appointed by the First Lady to develop a solution to the state’s loss of young people who leave the state to find work.
Spitzer holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and a B.A. summa cum laude from Meredith College.
The President’s Forum Series, established by President Mark D. Gearan in 2000, is designed to bring a variety of important figures to campus to share their knowledge and ideas with the entire HWS community as well as the residents of Geneva. The talk is free and open to the public; parking is available in the Medbery lot.