September 1, 2023
One of the great things about the HWS community is the strength and character of our colleagues. Over the years, I have been privileged to work with talented and dedicated members of the faculty and staff who engage our students in countless ways and make this such a special place.
I write today to reflect and honor the memory of two colleagues we lost this summer: Charlotte Hegyi who served as an archivist and reference librarian and Dan Strally who served for many years in IT Services. Both of them worked tirelessly to advance our mission at Hobart and William Smith. Both of them engaged their colleagues in generous ways and are remembered for their warmth and friendships. Both of them deserve our appreciation and honor.
Charlotte led a fascinating life marked by her curiosity and broad range of intellectual interests. Growing up in Texas and trained in piano performance, Charlotte led a chamber music ensemble with her husband Julius for 35 years while maintaining a large piano teaching studio. At age 60 she followed her love of libraries, research and teaching into a new career path when she graduated from Simmons College with a master's degree in library science and accepted the position as archivist and reference librarian at HWS in 1991.
Dan Mulvey, access services manager at the Warren Hunting Smith Library, recalls meeting Charlotte when she first arrived at HWS: “She quickly proved herself to be an astute archivist/librarian and, with her quick wit and personal charm, an excellent colleague. She maintained and improved the archives and became an authority on the Colleges’ history. I have yet to meet anyone who was as well read on a variety of topics and could retain so much of what she read.”
Jennifer Morris, former HWS assistant librarian, now Geneva 2030 Act NetTeam Leader, notes Charlotte’s fearlessness and her “shining example of how to start a new life and a new career.” In Geneva, Charlotte “created so many deep and lasting friendships,” sharing her “love and talent for music through piano recitals…[and] creating an appreciative and loyal band of friends and followers,” Jennifer recalls.
Professor of Music Bob Cowles recalls her kindness and “warm smile…. Charlotte very much was one of the reasons that HWS is such a great place — she thought beyond herself with a generous spirit, and for this and other reasons I will miss her greatly.”
Dan Strally grew up in nearby Waterloo and proudly served in the United States Navy before he attended Alfred State studying electronic communications. He joined the Hobart and William Smith IT Services department in 1998 and was a valued colleague until his retirement.
In late May when Dan passed, I was moved by the chain of comments following Communications Infrastructure Systems Administrator Kyle Burton's kind note informing the community of his uncle’s passing. Kyle said it well: "Dan's influence and contributions over many years of service on campus can still be seen today and he will be missed."
Associate Registrar for Graduation and Curriculum Linda Radin added: "Dan was one of those people who was quietly and cheerfully helpful to absolutely everyone." Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Beth Kinne remembered that he "always had a wave and a smile to offer. We were very fortunate to have him as a colleague and as someone who shaped the culture of this community in a very good way."
Returning to campus last year, I was happy to see Dan when he was brought in to troubleshoot and assist with cabling in the Bartlett Theatre and Adams Intercultural Center. His knowledge of HWS systems and deep experience with our cabling was extremely valuable.
As we head into this academic year, we do so with gratitude to former colleagues like Charlotte and Dan.