September 10, 2021

Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Community,

It is with deep sadness that I write to report the death of Veronica Ashby, a member of the William Smith Class of 2025. Earlier this evening, Veronica was a passenger in a vehicle involved in an off-campus car accident. Although details about the accident are still emerging, as a community, we mourn her loss and send our sincere sympathies to her family and friends.

Veronica was a graduate of Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts in New York City. Although new to the Hobart and William Smith community, she had already made a profound impact on her peers and educators. They describe her as vibrant, insightful and joyful, a person who made friends easily, and who was very close to her family.

As a community, I ask all of you to reach out to one another to offer comfort and support. The following resources are available to all members of our community:

  • Counselors from the Center for Counseling and Student Wellness, located at 91 St. Clair St., are available today until 10 p.m. and tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Support staff will also be in Hirshson for drop-in support.
  • Counselors are available 24 hours a day by calling Campus Safety at (315)-781-3000.
  • Chaplain Nita Byrd and Director of the Abbe Center Julianne Miller are available at (315) 781-3670 and can also be reached 24 hours a day by calling Campus Safety at (315)-781-3000. In the coming days, Chaplain Byrd will be working with Veronica’s family and friends to prepare a remembrance of her life.
  • The Hobart Deans, the William Smith Deans and the Office of Campus Life, located in Smith Hall, are also available. These offices will be available for drop-in support Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • On-call professional Student Engagement staff can be reached by calling Campus Safety at (315) 781-3000.
  • The Employee Assistance Program provides faculty and staff with immediate and free access to mental health professionals by calling (800) 327-2255.

Please join me in extending heartfelt condolences to Veronica’s family and friends. At challenging times, the care and compassion of our Hobart and William Smith community are most evident and most needed.


Joyce P. Jacobsen