In recognition of remarkable service and professional achievement, at the 2019 Commencement ceremony, Hobart and William Smith Colleges awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters to Gloria Robinson Lowry ’52, L.H.D. ’19, a graduate who embodies the values and character of the HWS community.
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 in Pasadena, Calif., 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.
“In every regard, you are exemplary alumna,” said Interim President Patrick A. McGuire L.H.D. ’12, addressing Lowry who, although unable to attend, was watching via live stream. “You were a pioneer here on campus, motivating generations of students at your alma mater. You dedicated yourself to educating young people, inspiring them with your tenacious belief in the power of community and inclusivity. We are proud to call you an alumna of William Smith College and to honor you today.”
Lowry’s honorary degree will be delivered to her in person in the coming months.
Coverage of Commencement 2019, including photo galleries and videos can be found here.