Members of the Hobart and William Smith Posse 3 cohort celebrated their academic and personal achievements at a graduation ceremony attended by family, friends, faculty and staff in Froelich Hall at the Gearan Center for Performing Arts on Saturday.
Vice President for Campus Life and Posse Program Liaison Robb Flowers opened the program by congratulating the graduates and thanking gathered families and friends for their “sacrifice, support and guidance,” noting that the Posse scholars “have enriched our lives, and they have enriched our campus.”
Director of Posse Los Angeles Tamara Craver echoed those statements before encouraging the graduates to “remain connected to the institution, to Posse and to each other.” Interim President Patrick A. McGuire ’12 thanked the scholars for “making a permanent difference in the life of the Colleges. We are a better place because of your engagement and activism, your creativity and your scholarship.”
Posse 3 was mentored by Stacey N. Pierce, formerly Assistant Vice President for Campus Life at HWS and now Associate Vice President of the Posse Foundation. She acknowledged the challenges and sacrifices the students made over the course of their journey, as well as their accomplishments and growth. “These young folks have always been on the journey to becoming,” she said, before addressing the graduates directly. “I’m proud of you today for who you’ve become, and I know that you will continue to persist in becoming even more.”
Jasmyn Culpepper, career program manager for Posse Los Angeles and the trainer for Posse 3, presented graduates with awards and gifts, while McGuire draped each student in a Posse stole. An open mic session followed, providing an opportunity for families, friends and the scholars to share reflections and give thanks. The Posse 3 cohort repeatedly thanked Intercultural Affairs Director Alejandra Molina for her enduring support.
In his closing remarks, Flowers told graduates: “We are better for having known you and we will be a better institution for having you here.”
Posse helps to identify promising youth in public high schools around the country through a process that takes into account academic and leadership potential that may have been overlooked by standard practices. In doing so, Posse expands the pool from which top colleges and universities recruit students from diverse backgrounds. Hobart and William Smith joined Posse in 2012.
Coverage of Commencement 2019, including photo galleries and videos can be found here.