Hobart and William Smith Colleges will celebrate the inauguration of Dr. Joyce P. Jacobsen as the 29th president of Hobart College and the 18th of William Smith College during an investiture ceremony on Friday, Oct. 18 on the Hobart Quadrangle.
The formal inauguration, which will take place beginning at 11:30 a.m., will include speeches, readings and musical performances from members of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges community. It will take place outdoors, rain or shine, and will also be streamed live. Guests, delegates and faculty/staff need to register for this event. Students are not required to register.
“This moment marks an exciting new chapter in the history of the Colleges, one in which we can reflect on our past and celebrate the future as Dr. Joyce P. Jacobsen is officially installed as president of the Colleges,” says Chair of the Board of Trustees Thomas S. Bozzuto ’68. “A noted economist, educator and administrator, President Jacobsen has a unique perspective on higher education that will empower our dedicated and creative community — students, faculty, staff, alums, families and friends — to forge paths to success as individuals and as an institution.”
Inauguration Day events continue throughout the day, culminating with the Inauguration Dinner in the Great Hall of Saga, beginning at 6 p.m., and a Presidents’ Ball, sponsored by the HWS club presidents, immediately following.
After the inauguration ceremony itself, a community celebration lunch will be held in the Great Hall of Saga of the Scandling Campus Center at 12:30 p.m., followed by a panel discussion on free speech, civil liberties and higher education, with national experts including Dr. Brian W. Casey, president of Colgate University; Andrew Celli ’87, civil liberties attorney at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP; Sharmaine Bradham LaMar, Esq., general counsel at Swarthmore College; and Justin Rose, associate professor of political science at HWS. Louis H. Guard, Esq. ’07, vice president and general counsel at HWS, will moderate the panel, which will begin at 3:30 p.m. in Albright Auditorium.
The day’s events will also include an excursion to the National Women’s Hall of Fame in nearby Seneca Falls, N.Y., campus tours and classroom drop-in hours in courses across the curriculum.
A renowned labor economist, award-winning teacher and experienced administrator in higher education, Jacobsen earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University, M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and A.B. from Harvard University. She began her academic career at Rhodes College before joining the Wesleyan University faculty. There, she earned full professor in 2000 and was awarded an endowed chair as Andrews Professor of Economics in 2003. She began her work as an administrator in 2013 when she was appointed Dean of Social Sciences and Director of Global Initiatives at Wesleyan, and then Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2015. When elected president of HWS, she was serving as Wesleyan’s Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. She is the first woman to lead HWS as president.
The Colleges announced in February that the HWS Board of Trustees had unanimously voted to approve Jacobsen president. A video of the announcement ceremony is available online. Jacobsen officially began her first day as HWS president on July 1.