5 June 2024 Alger Adams Scholars Recognized

Awards highlight outstanding students. 

Nearly 100 Hobart and William Smith students were honored during the Alger L. Adams ’32 Scholar Dinner following in the footsteps of the event’s namesake.

Learn more about Rev. Dr. Alger. L. Adams ’32, D.D. ’83.

The ceremony, which recognizes the academic excellence of students of color, is named in honor of HWS’ first black student, who graduated magna cum laude in Greek, English and psychology and was named to Phi Beta Kappa. Following his time at HWS, Adams would go on to help build what are now St. Francis and St. Martha’s in White Plains, N.Y. and Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Yonkers, N.Y., ran the Westchester Country Press and was active in a variety of civil rights, professional and community organizations and initiatives.

The event featured a welcome by Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Bill Woodson, followed by an invocation by Dean of Spiritual Engagement and Chaplain The Rev. Nita J. Byrd. Past HWS President and President of Talladega College Gregory J. Vincent ’83 provided remarks as the keynote speaker, along with Mohammad Yassin ’25, president of the Muslim Student Association.

“Adams faced and overcame significant obstacles to become the first African American graduate of Hobart College,” says Woodson. “He not only overcame obstacles but, as a magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate, Adams demonstrated that by opening its doors to students of color, Hobart was opening the door to new pools of talented scholars.”

Among the nearly 100 students to be honored, Delores Amponsah ’25 received the inaugural Dr. Gregory J. Vincent ’83 Leadership Service Award. This award is given to an outstanding rising senior and/or first-generation student of color who has made an extraordinary contribution to the Colleges.  

In addition to student recognition, the Beloved Community Member Award, which celebrates the extraordinary leaders in the Geneva community, the kinds of leaders who uplifted Alger Adams and continue to uplift today’s Hobart and William Smith students, went to Director of the Adams Intercultural Center Alejandra Molina. Molina, who has worked at HWS since 1995, helped the center establish partnerships with a number of community agencies and groups including the Farmworker Agency Coalition, the Geneva School District, Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes and the Geneva Community Center, among others. 

Top: At the Alger L. Adams ’32 Scholar Dinner, the new Alger Adams Scholars gather for a photo.