Senior Dinner Celebrates Courage and Community – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Senior Dinner Celebrates Courage and Community

HWS seniors gathered for dinner, speeches and a champagne toast.

Senior Week at Hobart and William Smith culminated with the traditional Senior Dinner on Thursday, a final bonding opportunity for the Classes of 2021 before Commencement.

The evening began with a blessing from The Rev. Nita C. Johnson Byrd, Dean of Spiritual Engagement and Chaplain, followed by a welcome from President Joyce P. Jacobsen and reflections from William Smith Dean Lisa M. Kaenzig P’22, Hobart Dean Scott L. Brophy ’78, P’12 and Associate Professor of Psychological Science Brien Ashdown, who was selected this year’s faculty speaker.

“You’re going to go out and become global citizens,” Ashdown said. “Embrace change. Make yourself explore. Put down roots. When it becomes a rut, replant yourselves. Make everyone proud.”

“You have been with us during a time of tremendous change,” said Kaenzig. “And you have made the choice to remain an integral member of our community. You have raised your voice for change. There have been countless ways you have raised your voices at the Colleges. You wanted to make it better…I am profoundly changed by your having been here. We’re extraordinarily grateful to you.”

“This class contains more friends of mine, than any other class that I can remember,” said Brophy, who noted that before the next phase after graduation begins, “let’s think back over the last four years and celebrate. Watching the way you all had strength, compassion and kindness is really inspiring to me. Be proud of yourselves.”

William Smith Senior Class President Carling Landeche ’21 told her fellow graduates to “be proud of yourself for navigating these unprecedented times and finishing college. Never forget we were able to make it through. Never forget the memories we made these four years. Hold each other close.”

In her champagne toast to the Classes of 2021 at the end of the evening, President Jacobsen told seniors: “You are courageous, you are caring, you are energetic, you are thoughtful, and above all — the word of the year — you are resilient. Drink to yourselves.”

[Watch the live stream of Commencement and view other Commencement 2021 events here.]