“The Thomas Poole Family Admissions Center is the front door to our campus, the space through which visitors first experience our community, and the embodiment of our aspirations for ourselves and our prospective students,” said President Mark D. Gearan, during the dedication ceremony for the Hobart and William Smith admissions office this fall.
The October gathering celebrated the 10th anniversary of the renovation of the building and honored the benefactors, longtime HWS Trustee Thomas B. ’61, L.H.D. ’06 and Mary Jane Poole P’91, with a naming ceremony.
“Tom and Mary Jane Poole are very special people who have committed extraordinary amounts of time and money – and more than anything else – love and dedication to the Colleges,” said Thomas Bozzuto ’68, chair of the HWS Board of Trustees. “Their commitment is perhaps best demonstrated in the beauty of the work done in our admissions building. Go inside, walk around, and tell me you can imagine a better place to capture the imagination of a young person than in that building. Each of us has heard stories from the many people – prospective students and their families, current students and alums – who have been captivated by the warmth and beauty of that space.”
The renovations, completed in late 2005, resulted in 50 percent more space while preserving the historic character of the 1840 building. Previously, the HWS admissions staff occupied two buildings, but the Poole’s gift helped to combine the staff under a single roof. Updates include modernized office space, furniture, conference room, reception area and landscaping.
“It is a stunningly beautiful place – full of history and connected so viscerally to Seneca Lake. Tom and Mary Jane thought through every single component of this building – the layout and feel of the spaces, the furniture and the artwork. And we couldn’t have had a better team,” said Gearan.
Bryan Huynh ’18 and Katrina Willis ’19, both student workers in the Admissions Center, also reflected on the role that the HWS admissions staff and the building itself have played in their experience at HWS.
Poole has served on the Board of Trustees in multiple leadership roles for nearly 30 years.
In 1995, he received the William Napier Memorial Award for his outstanding service to Hobart Athletics and to the SAA. He received a citation from the Hobart Alumni Association in June 1986, was inducted into the Hobart Statesmen Hall of Fame in October 2002, and received the Colleges’ highest honor, an honorary degree in 2006.