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HWS kicks-off “Campaign for the Colleges”

More than 1,000 alumni, alumnae, students, faculty and supporters of Hobart and William Smith Colleges came to the Robert A. Bristol ’31 Field House Saturday night to show their affection for the Colleges and participate in a series of events marking the Campus Launch of Campaign for the Colleges. The event was the largest on-campus event of its kind in the history of the Colleges.This also is the largest ever fund-raising campaign—a $160 million effort intended to fulfill priorities established in the Colleges’ strategic planning initiatives. Board Chair David H. Deming ’75 enthusiastically told the audience that he is confident the Colleges will succeed, with $94 million already committed.In large part, the Campaign’s priorities are formed by HWS 2005 and HWS 2010, strategic plans developed under President Mark D. Gearan, who received an enthusiastic standing ovation before he presented his vision for the future. “Hobart and William Smith Colleges are a community committed to excellence in the liberal arts. At its core, Campaign for the Colleges underwrites the quality of the academic experience by providing students and faculty with programs and facilities on par with the best to be found anywhere.”After performances by three student groups, the Hobartones and Three Miles Lost a cappella singers, and the Hip-notiQs step team, Emmy Award Winning CBS News Correspondent William T. Whitaker Jr.’73 came to the stage. As master of ceremonies, he recognized members of the Hobart and William Smith community who have funded recent improvement and building projects such as Stern Hall, the newest academic building; Trinity Hall with offices for global education, public service and The Salisbury Center for Career Services; The Katherine D. Elliott Studio Arts Center and The Goldstein Family Carriage House, which complete a modern studio arts complex; Finger Lakes Institute; Bozzuto Boathouse; Admissions Center; McCooey Field; and the two newest residence halls, de Cordova and North halls.Future projects include creating a Performing Arts Center, expanding the Scandling Student Center, and renovating athletics facilities, as well as raising the endowment to top $200 million, increasing scholarships and more.In addition, Whitaker introduced dozens of attendees whose recent successes were recognized with resounding applause. They included two Medal of Excellence recipients, two Alumna Achievement Award recipients, all student athletes including the William Smith Field Hockey team who earlier in the day won the Liberty League Field Hockey Championship, more than a dozen alum groups, numerous student groups, and many long-time supporters.The program was highlighted by reflections from Joseph Stein III ’86, managing director of Peter J. Solomon Company, who told how an Elliott Scholarship allowed him to play on the football and lacrosse; Julia James’04, Rhodes Scholar and Oxford Biomedical Research Scholar, who recalled the inspiration of English professor Deborah Tall, who died last month; Thomas Drennen, associate professor of economics, who described the research being done by students here; Leanne Roncolato ’07, student leader, who talked about her interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Elena Ciletti, associate professor of art, who explained the empowerment of the coordinate system; Daniel Rosensweig ’83, chief operating officer of Yahoo! Inc., who mentioned a course he took with Professor Peter Beckman where he learned to ask the right questions; and Whitaker, who recollected a professor who knew he was ready for graduate school and inspired him to take that path.Deming was enthusiastic in his review of the evening. “There is an infectious spirit in the air tonight. Advanced giving to the campaign has provided a strong platform to build upon and has created unparalleled confidence as we move ahead with this important initiative.”

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