In celebration of a journey defined by academic growth and community, the Classes of 2018 participated in the longstanding traditions that bind Hobart and William Smith alums in the final days before their Commencement on Friday, May 11, when seniors were officially welcomed into cohorts of dedicated alums. (More coverage of the 2018 Commencement can be found here.)
The William Smith Alumnae Association Senior Welcome Toast commenced at 2:30 p.m. in The L. Thomas Melly ’52 Lobby of the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts. Graduating Herons heard remarks from keynote speaker Sandy Scherzer Gross ’85, P’18, who serves as founder and managing partner of Pinetum Partners, LLC, an executive search firm, as well as Alumnae Association Vice President Julie Bazan ’93, William Smith Dean Lisa Kaenzig P’22, William Smith Class President Micaela A. Carney ’18 and Associate Vice President of Alumnae Relations Kathy Killius Regan ’82, P’13.
Seniors received their final William Smith charm bracelet and planted a tree to commemorate their bond as a class. The revival of the “good luck tree” and tree planting tradition dates back nearly to the College’s founding and served as a landmark for alums like Alta Boyer ’36, who returned for the Welcome.
The William Smith Welcome coincided with the Hobart Launch, during which graduating Statesmen received replicas of the Seneca warrior Agayentah’s paddle, a symbol of Hobart’s heritage and commitment among alumni, and their official beginning as members of the Hobart Alumni Association. The afternoon included remarks from keynote speaker U.S. Realty Capital Principal Robert S. Pisanelli ’00, Hobart Dean Eugen Baer P’95, P’97, Brian Schmitt ’18, Matthew T. Skinner ’17, Tyler G. Fuller’18 and Associate Vice President of Alumni Relations Jared Weeden ’91.
Seniors gathered at 3 p.m. at the top of the Bozzuto Boathouse path for the traditional procession from South Main Street to the lake shore.