One of the oldest HWS traditions, Founder’s Day brings together students, alums, administrators and faculty members to celebrate the establishment of William Smith College and the achievements of its students and graduates.
Inspired by the suffragette movement in nearby Seneca Falls, Geneva nurseryman and philanthropist William Smith made the gift to establish a women’s college on Dec. 13, 1906, and two years later, William Smith College enrolled its first class of 18 students. The College was founded adjacent to Hobart and entered into a coordinate arrangement that is now unique in American higher education.
This year’s keynote guest, Chrysa Chin ’84, will participate in a public dialogue on Founder’s Day, Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Bartlett Theatre, Coxe Hall. The event is free and open to the public. The Founder’s Day celebration will be streamed live on the HWS website.
Chin, whom top NBA players rely on as a mentor and life coach, is executive vice president for strategy and development for the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). She will be recognized with the Alumna Achievement Award, the William Smith Alumnae Association’s highest honor, for exceptional accomplishments in her field and the distinction she has brought to her alma mater.
Throughout the week leading up to Founder’s Day, William Smith Congress has planned a series of events to give the HWS community a chance to display their William Smith pride. (All events will be held in the Scandling Campus Center unless otherwise noted.)
- Wednesday, Nov. 8 — Remarkable Alumnae: a showcase of remarkable William Smith graduates will be set up throughout the day.
- Thursday, Nov. 9 — Compliments Board: a “compliments board” will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the HWS community to share memories and birthday greetings for William Smith College.
- Friday, Nov. 10 —Scavenger Hunt: students can participate in the “Where’s William Smith?” scavenger hunt from 11:30 to 2 p.m. Find pictures of William Smith around campus. Take your picture with him. Redeem in Scandling for a prize!
- Sunday, Nov. 12 — Paint the Campus Green: students will be decorating Pulteney Street and the Scandling Campus Center with green ribbons and sidewalk chalk.
- Monday, Nov. 13 — William Smith Photo Booth: have your picture taken with William Smith between 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 14 — Founder’s Day: celebrate the founding of William Smith by wearing green and white. Make William Smith ribbons from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., when Saga will be serving William Smith themed desserts. Don’t miss Chin’s Founder’s Day discussion in the Bartlett Theater at 7 p.m.