Two hundred years after John Henry Hobart arrived on the western shore of Seneca Lake, and more than 100 years after the founding of William Smith, HWS students, alums and families gathered for Homecoming and Family Weekend, celebrating the people, traditions and accomplishments that have shaped the Colleges’ community.
For Rob Barnum ’22, the weekend was a reminder that HWS is “a place that values having a tight-knit community.”
Across campus, that sense of community was the focus of the weekend —from the theme houses, fraternities and residence halls, which were adorned as part of the Homecoming House Decorating Competition, to the Kosher Shabbat dinner and Sukkot celebration hosted by the Abbe Center for Jewish Life.
“Being here with my parents and seeing my friends with their families, reminds me why I chose HWS,” said Barnum, of Enfield, N.H. “This place feels like home.”
In a dedication ceremony on Saturday, the Colleges unveiled the David J Urick Stadium, named in honor of the legendary lacrosse coach who led the Hobart Statesmen to 10 straight NCAA Division III Championships during the 1980s. Former players, colleagues, friends and family gathered to recognize Urick, who was in attendance with his wife, children and grandchildren. Speakers included Hobart Lacrosse Head Coach Greg Raymond, former Assistant Coach Henry “Hank” Janczyk ’76, Scott Urick and Interim President Patrick A. McGuire L.H.D. ’12.
Elsewhere on campus, the Colleges’ community took part in Homecoming traditions like Quad-a-Palooza, which featured live performances from HWS musicians. Members of the Druid Society took the trophy at Fall Nationals, the annual box-car derby in which faculty, staff and students compete to see whose homemade car will hold up as they race down the William Smith Hill.
During the “State of the Colleges” session, McGuire highlighted recent campus developments, ongoing initiatives and future goals, including the presidential search, campus construction projects and community relations.
Meanwhile, the weekend saw wins for the Herons’ soccer, field hockey and rowing teams, and Hobart tennis player Alan Dubrovsky ’20 became the first Statesman to win the ITA Northeast Regional Singles Championship since 1995. Dubrovsky and Walker Anderson ’21 also won the tournament’s doubles competition.
Mini-college courses offered parents and families insight into the range of classes their students can take with the Colleges’ expert faculty — from campus architecture to life on Mars, global education to service learning.
“We toured a lot of schools, but when we set foot on campus we both knew this is where Bliss had to be: at William Smith,” said Kimberley Doney P’22, of Lexington, Mass. “I can’t wait for Bliss to study abroad, get a great internship, and just thrive in her four years here.”
A popular mini-college session, titled “Teaching Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century,” offered by Visiting Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies Craig Talmage, explored entrepreneurial studies – the fastest growing minor on campus – in the context of a liberal arts education.
“Some argue that we’ve entered a ‘purpose-driven economy.’ Increasingly, millennials are entering the workforce, and they want to know that they are making an impact in their communities and across the world,” Talmage said. He noted that the Colleges’ collaborative engagement in the Geneva community is a key to the current and future success of the entrepreneurial studies program. “We have a great newly renovated building downtown dedicated to entrepreneurial endeavors – The Bozzuto Center for Entrepreneurship – and we offer opportunities to work with actual entrepreneurs.”
The breadth and depth of the Colleges’ curriculum resonated with Joseph Tomm P’22, of Durham, Maine, who said, “While Jacob is studying the sciences, we love seeing how HWS embraces the liberal arts model and is offering him opportunities to try learning new things, meet new people, still do sports, and just become a well-rounded young man and a Statesman.”