Dr. Timothy J. Ryan ’72, who grew up in Geneva, matriculated into Hobart College in 1968 as one of the first recipients of funding from Geneva Scholarship Associates (GSA). Since graduation, he has been a loyal supporter of the GSA, and in June, during the annual GSA celebration, the Colleges announced that Ryan has increased his longtime support for the organization with a new scholarship fund.
For five years, beginning with the Classes of 2024, the Dr. Timothy J. Ryan Annual GSA Scholarship will support the education of a Hobart or William Smith student from Geneva.
During the June 10 celebration honoring donors, past recipients and the newest class of scholars, Ryan spoke about his family connections to HWS that date back generations, as well as the friendships he has made through the Colleges, and how seemingly small moments have lifelong impacts.
“I didn’t realize the heritage I’d had at Hobart until I happened to run across a newspaper article and read that my grandfather graduated in 1898,” Ryan says. Since then, five consecutive generations of students from the family have attended HWS.
For Ryan, enabled by the GSA scholarship, “the Colleges allowed me to be successful in medicine, which allowed me to then help people not only locally, but internationally through Rotary, with clean water in Africa and stamping out polio.The GSA gives you opportunities you never dreamt of — you can’t imagine what they’ll be. The opportunities and friendships and relationships you build in college are ones you’ll have the rest of your life, and there is a responsibility to pay that forward.”
“Tim has been one of our most generous donors and has always been willing to be an advocate for GSA and encourages others to support GSA,” says Jerry Buckley P’15, director of corporate and foundation relations and legislative affairs. “He promised as a young man that he would do his part to help other Geneva students just as GSA helped him and that is what he has been doing since he graduated in 1972 and throughout his career as a successful and highly respected medical doctor.”
Now retired, Ryan founded Lifecare Medical Associates in 1979 and was a practicing physician for more than 40 years. He has served as the medical director for a number of local school systems, the Seneca County Department of Health, and the Seneca Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Facility. He is the former chair of the Finger Lakes Regional Health System’s Department of Family Medicine and the former president of the Seneca County Medical Society.
Ryan has devoted much of his career to medical education, serving as associate clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine at both the SUNY Health Science Center in Syracuse and the University of Rochester School of Medicine.
At HWS, Ryan was on the lacrosse team and was the recipient of the Eaton-Cross Prize for excellence in biology and chemistry. After earning his B.S. in biology at HWS, he went on to study at Dartmouth Medical School and the University of Minnesota, where he earned his medical degree.
GSA was founded in 1968, when then HWS President Albert E. Holland partnered with local business owners to create a community-driven organization to provide endowed scholarship support for academically and financially deserving Geneva students to attend Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Over the past 50 years, individuals and businesses from Geneva, and others have donated support now totaling more than $2 million in endowed funds, which generate numerous scholarships each and every year. In 2018, the GSA Board embarked on a campaign to raise $100,000 in honor of the 50th anniversary. At last month’s celebration, GSA Board President Robert W. Sollenne P’15 announced that the campaign not only met the goal but exceeded it, raising $110,000 to add to the GSA endowment thanks to the generosity of many Geneva businesses, vendor partners of the Colleges, and individuals.