Across campus, the Hobart and William Smith community is beginning to welcome the Classes of 2023. While the majority of the 486 first-years begin Orientation on Thursday, Aug. 22, students from the newest classes have already arrived in Geneva from as far away as Germany and Nepal and as close as the neighboring Finger Lakes.
The first-year cohort constitutes an academically impressive group, with a median high school GPA of 3.51 and SAT score of 1300. One of the more diverse groups in the Colleges’ history, members of the Classes of 2023 hail from 24 states and more than a dozen countries, with 24% identifying as a person of color. The Classes also include 70 students from “legacy families,” meaning a parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle and/or cousin previously attended the Colleges.
For Jos Cremers ’23, who hails from Lower Saxony, Germany, the Colleges’ “prestigious academic reputation” and Hobart’s football program were two of the biggest factors that brought him to Geneva. “I am really looking forward to meeting new people, getting to know the faculty and to having a successful football season,” he says.
Claudia Kalina ’23, a HWS Endowed Chicago Scholarship recipient from Arlington Heights, Ill., was looking for “a college environment where my professors are invested in my education and success, and I truly feel like I can get that at HWS.” On top of “a generous financial aid package, allowing me to pursue my education without worrying about its affordability,” Kalina says that meeting Professor of Biology Meghan Brown on a campus visit, and learning that the HWS faculty “are equally as dedicated to teaching as they are to their research,” made the Colleges the right choice.
Growing up nearby in Clifton Springs, N.Y., McKenna Colacino ’23 says that HWS “was always a dream school,” noting the Herons athletics programs and the Colleges’ pre-med options. As May 1, the traditional college notification date, approached, Colacino says the anticipation became almost too much — until she was surprised by HWS Admissions staff, who presented her with the Farash Scholarship. “You need to have that one college that is your dream school,” she says, and while it may have felt like “a crazy long shot,” Colacino says, “I truly believe this was where I was meant to be.”
Established in 2012, the Farash First in Family Scholarship helps local HWS students who are the first in their families to attend college reach their academic goals debt-free. Colacino and other First-Generation students began pre-orientation on Wednesday, Aug. 21.
Meanwhile, 75 members of the incoming classes embarked on the Pre-Orientation Adventure Program on Saturday, Aug. 17. The optional five-day outdoor experience offers hiking, kayaking or community service experiences in the greater Geneva area, encouraging students to meet classmates, learn new skills, ease into the collegiate lifestyle and enjoy the community and region before formal Orientation and classes begin.
During Orientation Weekend, students will meet their first-year seminar cohort and instructors, tour campus, participate in a Day of Service on Saturday, Aug. 24 and get acclimated with their new home during a “LOVE Geneva” tour of the city.
Orientation Weekend activities will culminate at 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 26, with Convocation 2019 featuring a keynote address from Matt Lamanna ’97, associate curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.