As the sun broke through the clouds to shine on the students and alumni gathered at the Bozzuto Boathouse on Friday, Retired Central Intelligence Agency Officer John Sipher ’83, P’19 delivered the annual address at the Hobart Launch after being introduced by Alumni Association President Dr. Richard S. Solomon ’75, P’10. The event officially inducts members of the graduating class into the Hobart Alumni Association.
Reminiscing about his years on campus, Sipher spoke about the endurance of college friendships and the importance of HWS connections throughout his life, at home and abroad.
“Be an ambassador for the Colleges when you leave,” he told the new alumni, advising them to be an example by going to games and attending events, wearing Hobart gear, hiring graduates and giving back with their time and money. “You are part of an extended Hobart family,” he said, “and they will be with you forever.”
After an invocation and a blessing from Julianne Miller, director of the Abbe Center for Jewish Life and Hillel adviser, and Nita Byrd, the Colleges’ new chaplain and dean for spiritual engagement, student speaker Ryan Montbleau ’19 took to the podium to remind classmates that “it is time for us to carry out our lives of consequence, to connect with older alums and to welcome new ones in the years ahead.”
Cort Williams ’19 was announced by the Alumni Association’s chief class correspondent Eric Hall Anderson ’59 as the 2019 class correspondent. Elected by his classmates, Williams is now responsible for collecting classnotes for inclusion in the Colleges’ alum magazine, The Pulteney Street Survey. Professor of Economics Scott McKinney P’13, who retired this year, was welcomed as an honorary class member of the Class of 2019, and members of the Sherman family were acknowledged for their continued generosity to the Colleges. Joel Sherman P’85, P’92, GP’19, GP’21 was presented with an engraved paddle thanking him and his family for their steadfast support.
Associate Vice President for Advancement and Director of Alumni Relations Jared Weeden ’91 noted “this is a celebratory moment for all of us, as soon you will be afforded the rights, privileges and opportunities that come with being a Hobart College graduate,” but that becoming an alumnus also includes important responsibilities to “give back, stay connected and advocate for the College’s success.”
As is tradition, seniors lined up to receive their paddles, a symbol of Hobart’s heritage and the shared commitment among alumni, and celebrated their achievements with a reception featuring cigars donated by the Sherman family and beverages provided by Fred Matt ’81 of F.X. Matt Brewing Co.
Hobart Dean Khuram Hussain concluded the ceremony with a benediction: “With the humility of a scholar and the character of a Statesman, go forth and remake your world.”