Elizabeth Blackwell Award

The Elizabeth Blackwell Award is given by Hobart and William Smith Colleges to a woman whose life exemplifies truly outstanding service to humanity. Dr. Blackwell received her degree at Geneva Medical College, the precursor institution of Hobart College. The Colleges continue the legacy of Geneva Medical College, taking a special pride in claiming Dr. Blackwell as an alumna. Today, Dr. Blackwell serves as an important symbol of the barriers that women have overcome and those that remain.


Interested in pursuing a career in medicine? Check out the HWS Health Professions and learn how to apply for the Blackwell Scholars Program.


Catherine Gallouet, Dean of William Smith College

"William Smith women make up a fine community of students and alumnae, united by their love for the College and the transformative experiences shared together as William Smith students. They come from all walks of life, have different perspectives, aspirations and goals; yet they form a community that lasts a lifetime, moving each other up, creating a sustained support network providing advice, opportunities, and holding one another to the highest of standards."

-- Catherine Gallouët, Dean of William Smith College


Lives of Consequence

Just as William Smith College's founding was greatly influenced by the women's rights movement, those who have been at the center of changing the role of women in society have come to the College to reflect on their work, share ideas and offer advice. Here are a few William Smith alumnae leading lives of consequence:

Hobart and William
Smith Colleges:
A Coordinate Tradition

For more than a century, the women of William Smith College have enjoyed a unique coordinate tradition that links them to Hobart College yet maintains a separate focus on opportunities and guidance dedicated solely to women.

Originally founded as two separate colleges (Hobart for men in 1822 and William Smith for women in 1908), all HWS students share the same campus, faculty, administration and curriculum, while each College benefits from its own deans, student government, athletic department, and College-specific traditions. With opportunities to excel in a co-ed environment and a sophisticated understanding of gender, Hobart and William Smith provide women and men with the best of both worlds.

The result: women graduates go on to become leaders in every imaginable field from finance and business, to medicine and education, from the arts and government, to human rights and technology.

William Smith Graduates
In the Spotlight


  • Moving Up Day

    Moving-Up Day ceremonially marks the moment when all William Smith classes "move up". Each spring, seniors "commence" to graduation and leave their class space to the juniors, the juniors to the sophomores, and the sophomores to the first-years.

  • Celebrating Excellence Dinner

    At the beginning of the fall semester, William Smith College celebrates the new academic year and the anniversary of the first time William Smith College first opened its doors in September of 1908. The dinner is dedicated to recognizing the achievements of remarkable William Smith women and to induct the new honor society members.

  • PLEN

    William Smith College has been a member of PLEN since 2010 and is led by Dean Lisa Kaenzig, who also serves on PLEN's National Board of Directors. The organization regularly brings members together at professional events held in Washington, D.C. The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) aims to increase the number of women in top leadership positions not only by exposing college women to role models, but also through the skills training needed before entering the workforce in public policy careers.



Cat Gorman '15
First sophomore from HWS accepted as a J.P. Morgan Intern, Asset Management Risk Department; Majoring in Economics; Member of the Lacrosse Team

1. What advice would you give women trying to break into finance? Be persistent and do not take no for an answer.

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Mehrnaz Vahid-Ahdieh '85
Managing Director, Global Market Manager, Citibank; Majored in Economics and Sociology at William Smith

1. What advice would you give women trying to break into finance? Be confidant and APPLY! The financial industry needs more of us.

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