In recognition of remarkable service and personal and professional achievement, Hobart and William Smith Colleges will confer two honorary degrees during the 2019 Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 19. The Colleges will award the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters to Edward A. Froelich ’55 and Gloria Robinson Lowry ’52, two graduates who embody the institution’s historic values and reflect the character of the HWS community.
“In every regard, Eddie and Gloria have been exemplary alums,” says Interim President Patrick A. McGuire L.H.D. ’12. “In their careers, in their engagement with the Colleges, in the standard they set for the students who followed them, they have demonstrated lives of consequence, which we are proud and excited to pay tribute to during this year’s Commencement ceremonies.”
For more than half a century, Froelich has been a driving force behind the growth of the Colleges’ physical campus and financial resources. With his wife Joanne, he has been a steadfast supporter of scholarship funding, including the Kathryn D. Cook Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Edward A. ’55 and Joanne I. Froelich Scholarship Fund and the Joe Abraham Prize. The Froelichs provided the funds to renovate and endow the Abraham Sports Medicine Room; the visiting team locker room in Elliott Varsity House; and the Froelich Gatehouse, which welcomes fans to the Caird Center for Sports and Recreation. The Froelichs also made a generous gift to the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts, where Froelich Hall is named in their honor.
In a career spanning from the civil rights movement to a new millennium, Lowry has dedicated herself to educating young people in inclusive environments. Now a retired fifth grade teacher, Lowry earned an economics degree at William Smith College, graduating as president of her class and the College’s first African American alumna. In the following decades, she devoted herself to innovative and inclusive educational strategies that, in her words, allowed students to “look at the person next to them and say, ‘We really have more in common than we thought.’” Lowry’s legacy is celebrated on campus each year with an award named in her honor that recognizes a William Smith student of color who has demonstrated a commitment to justice and inclusivity.
Coverage of Commencement 2019, including photo galleries and videos can be found here.