It was a time for connection, celebration and community as students, families and alums gathered on campus for Homecoming and Family Weekend.
“Homecoming is my family’s favorite weekend on campus,” said Josh Hylkema ’21, whose parents joined him for a barbecue dinner and live music from Black Tie Stereo and HWS a capella groups at Quad-a-Palooza. “It offers a chance for my parents to come on campus, engage with the HWS community and experience some of the amazing things I have available to me every day.”
Hylkema took part in the annual house-decorating contest on Friday, helping to dress the Random Acts of Kindness theme house for autumn. The Guiding Eyes for the Blind house won the competition, displaying balloon figures walking balloon-dogs complete with drawn-on blue service vests. “The contest allowed us to show our pride for the Colleges and bond as a group — we’re like family,” said Courtney Page ’22.
On Saturday morning, President Joyce P. Jacobsen delivered the State of the Colleges address, where she reflected on her first 90 days in office and touched on academic and athletic achievements as well as recent accolades the Colleges have received. “I want to encourage everyone — along with me and around me — to actively participate in the practice of learning and to see the Colleges from a new perspective” said Jacobsen, discussing the theme of her first year, Explore HWS.
HWS officially dedicated the campus’ newest athletics facility — a $3.5 million state-of-the-art, air-supported sports dome — in honor of Hobart soccer legend and one of the institution’s longest serving trustees, Thomas B. Poole ’61, P’91, L.H.D. ’06.
“There’s a phrase I’m sure everyone knows: it takes a village to raise a child. In this case, it is not a child. It is a needed facility and community resource for the Colleges,” shared Poole during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Thomas B. Poole ’61 and Family Sports Dome. “The structure has the Poole name on it, but in truth the village has made it possible.”
On the field, the nationally-ranked William Smith soccer and Hobart football teams led the charge to victory. The No. 4 Herons had a 3-1 win over Skidmore on Cozzens Field. Phoebe Wade ’20 delivered the game-winning goal in the 48th minute. On the gridiron, the No. 22 Statesmen rode a stout defense to a 16-3 win. Emmett Forde ’21 recorded a game-high 12 tackles. On the tennis courts, Walker Anderson ’21 and Alan Dubrovsky ’20 returned to the finals of the ITA Northeast Regional doubles championship and will advance to the national ITA Cup in Rome, Ga. Dubrovsky also reached the semifinals of the singles bracket. Wiliam Smith field hockey fell to the University of Rochester on McCooey Field.
On Saturday afternoon, more than 50 students presented at the Student Research Symposium, the annual event that gives participants in the Colleges’ Summer Research Program the opportunity to share their works with fellow students, parents, faculty and alums. Hugh “Nick” McKenny ’20 worked with faculty from the mathematics, education and philosophy departments on his project, “Optimizing Fairness in British Parliamentary Debates.” “It was a really unique experience to do this interdisciplinary research,” he said. “These are questions that no one knows the answer to, so just trying to figure out the answers is exciting.”
Julia Cilano ’23 had a full weekend when six members of her family — including her brother’s dog, Doc — made the trip to campus. Her mother Elizabeth summed up the meaning of Homecoming and Family Weekend: “It’s about this here, right now, all of us together.”