William Smith Celebrates Student Excellence – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

William Smith Celebrates Student Excellence

Join the William Smith Deans for a virtual ceremony celebrating the outstanding achievements of William Smith students on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 6 p.m.

The Celebrating Excellence event will recognize phenomenal students through a virtual ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. This year, 25 sophomores and juniors will be inducted into the Laurel Society, the honor society for sophomores and juniors.



During the event, President Joyce P. Jacobsen will give a welcome address. William Smith Dean Lisa Kaenzig P’22, Assistant Dean Kelly Payne and Assistant Dean Lisa Salter will offer remarks and present the newest inductees to the Laurel Society. All of the presenters will address themes that consider academic excellence, openness to new learning, personal transformation through college experiences, the role of mentorship in a student’s life and persistence through challenges.

Allison Sperling Morris ’10, an attorney with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, will deliver this year’s keynote address. In her speech, Sperling Morris will talk about her path from Hobart and William Smith to the Department of Education, and the meaningful leadership opportunities she held and mentorship she received along the way. In her role, based in Denver, Colo., Sperling Morris is focused on civil rights and inclusive education policy. At the Colleges, she studied public policy, Spanish and Hispanic studies and international relations. An athlete, Sterling Morris was a member of the Herons Swimming and Diving team and participated in Big Brothers Big Sisters, Peer Mentorship, Laurel Society and Hai Timiai. She received her M.S.W. and her J.D. in constitutional rights and reforms from the University of Denver.

The Laurel Society is committed to community service and academic excellence. Through their positive actions as role models and mentors, and their active participation and representation in all areas of the Hobart and William Smith community, the Laurels are dedicated to both the Colleges and Geneva.