Commencement 2023 News and Media

On Sunday, May 21, 2023, Hobart and William Smith Colleges will celebrate the 112th graduation for William Smith and the 198th graduation for Hobart. Commencement happens on the Quad with the procession starting at 9 a.m. Tickets are not necessary.

In the case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to Bristol Field House and the start time will be 10 a.m. WEOS (89.7 and 90.3 FM) and WHWS 105.7 FM will make continuous announcements on Sunday morning beginning at 6 a.m., alerts will be posted on the Colleges’ social media (@hwsColleges), and emails will be sent to students and parents/guardians. Buses will run from parking lots to Bristol Field House.

The attached links provide many details of the Commencement ceremony and related events. If you have additional questions regarding Commencement, please contact the Parents Office at (315) 781-3700 or at



Social entrepreneur Alan Khazei will give the keynote address at Commencement 2023. HWS will recognize four members of the Colleges’ community with honorary degrees. During Commencement exercises, four members of the community will be recognized with honorary degrees: Patricia Adams, a successful corporate professional, musician, journalist, steadfast friend of the Colleges and daughter of Hobart’s first Black graduate, the Rev. Dr. Alger L. Adams ’32, D.D. ’83; Dr. Gilberto Arbelaez ’06, the only emergency physician on staff at Uvalde Memorial Hospital who treated victims in the immediate aftermath of the 2022 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas; Kevin Colton, Hobart and William Smith’s longtime chief photographer who has brought our campus to life with his unique perspective; and Cynthia Gelsthorpe Fish ’82, a longtime member of the Board of Trustees who advanced the Colleges efforts in governance and leadership and has been active in causes related to health, wellbeing and education.