More than 3,000 family members, alums, students and friends filled the Quad, bleachers and classrooms of the HWS campus for the 2017 Homecoming and Family Weekend. [Enjoy photos, videos, social media and information from the weekend.]
The weekend kicked off with the annual House Decorating Content, where residents of theme houses, fraternities and residence halls competed to show their school spirit. This year’s winner, Chi Phi fraternity decked out its porch in Hobart and William Smith colored ribbons and balloons. Cultural Connections Theme House and Global Perspectives House took home the second and third place trophy, respectively. Friday night, families took part in Quad-a-Palooza and met faculty, staff and new friends while listening to student acts and entertainment during CABaret.
“What a fun weekend put on by HWS. The weather enabled us to be outside all weekend enjoying a round of golf, a local winery, BBQs, restaurants and lots more,” says Jane Manuel P’18, of Mount Pleasant, S.C. “We loved spending time with our son, his friends and their families who we look forward to seeing every year.”
On Saturday morning, families had the opportunity to experience academic life at HWS by taking mini-college courses offered by the faculty. Topics ranged from recent weather disasters to teaching and learning strategies for the millennial student, including: using iPhones to learn new languages, incorporating mindfulness into the classroom, teaching entrepreneurship and utilizing theatre for social change. A research symposium was also held to highlight the academic achievements of students.
In the Vandervort Room, President Gregory J. Vincent ’83 delivered his inaugural State of the Colleges address, highlighting points of distinction such as faculty scholarship, student outcomes and national accolades, including being ranked No. 1 in study abroad and one of the “Best Colleges for Sports Lovers.”
During his remarks, Vincent shared his vision for HWS and underscored the mission of the Colleges to prepare students to lead a life of consequence.
“We have to be true to our mission,” Vincent said. “What does it mean to be a 21st century national liberal arts college? We certainly know it means helping our students lead lives of consequence, and to embody those values we hold dear. We know that a liberal arts education is timeless and never goes out of style. It gives our students the things they need to compete: those critical thinking skills, those communication skills, that moral compass – that North Star that they develop here is something that will help them in whatever they decide to do.”
In traditional style, the Colleges hosted the Fall Nationals race on Winn Seeley Hill, with Chi Phi winning this year’s soap box derby. “It’s a cool tradition to be a part of and I was honored to represent the Druids. The Colleges have such a strong sense of community and as a senior, I know I will take that with me when I graduate,” says Owen Smith ’18.
The HWS Dance Department and the Music Department collaborated to create an improvised performance, and the Davis Gallery at Houghton House featured Assistant Professor of Art and Architecture Etin Anwar’s exhibit “The White Rush of Experience.”
A new chapter in the Colleges’ history of athletics began during the Tennis Court Dedication, where three courts were named in honor of Trustee Allison Morrow ’76, Edgar B. Hebard ’60, and Honorary Trustee L. Thomas Melly ’52, L.H.D. ’02 and Judith H. Melly L.H.D. ’16 for their leadership in giving. The Tennis Court renovations were also made possible by the contributions of Heron and Statesmen donors.
On home turf, athletics teams excelled as Hobart football claimed a 56-30 victory over Shenandoah University and William Smith field hockey won against Manhattanville and Lebanon Valley in tournament play. William Smith golf hosted the WS Invitational and finished 6th, and Hobart soccer defeated SUNY Geneseo.
“Homecoming offers me the opportunity, if only for the weekend, to return to a place and reunite with people that were essential in making me into the person I am today,” says Nicholas Snow ’15, of Milton, Ga., who returned to campus to participate in Hobart rowing alumni weekend. “It’s a time to celebrate, give thanks and reflect on the things that make the Colleges such a special place.”
A news feed including videos, social media posts and photo galleries from the weekend is available.