Historically, when graduating seniors have crossed the steps of Coxe Hall and shaken the President’s hand, they received a diploma from either Hobart College or William Smith College. However, following actions of the Board of Trustees, HWS now offers a third option: a degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
On the recommendation of the HWS Board’s Student Experience Committee’s 2019 Coordinate Report and Policy, the Board of Trustees voted to adopt this change and make the option available to current and future students, as well as to alums, effective immediately.
“Our coordinate heritage is one of the defining features of our beloved Colleges,” says Chairman of the Board Thomas S. Bozzuto ’68, L.H.D. ’18. “It has also evolved over the past century, with changes to the curriculum and campus life that were often led by students so that those who followed could enjoy an education of even higher quality, and equality. This newest evolution in the coordinate system is an important step in fostering a more inclusive community in which all students enjoy an equal opportunity to learn.”
Since the “Culture of Respect” report was published in 2015 recommending that the Colleges’ coordinate structure be contemporized to meet the needs of 21st century students, the Colleges have heard from many members of the HWS community who have expressed their views with passion and enthusiasm. Through Monday, March 2, members of the Classes of 2020 can log into the PeopleSoft Self Service Student Center and select the type of diploma they wish to receive.
In 2018, the Board passed a resolution tasking the Student Experience Committee and members of the administration and community “to create specific recommendations that will adapt our coordinate construct to ensure that all students are welcomed and supported throughout their Hobart and William Smith education.”
Those recommendations, prepared for the April 2019 Board Meeting, were drawn from the suggestions and ideas of students, faculty, staff, alumni, alumnae and parents, through on-campus sessions and online surveys. The committee’s findings included a list of actionable, incremental suggestions for both the short and long term, including offering students and alums the option to choose whether “Hobart College,” “William Smith College” or “Hobart and William Smith Colleges” is printed on their diploma.