The summer months at the Colleges are an active time for the campus community. It’s a season of discovery, with faculty and students conducting research in the lab and in the field, notably taking advantage of one of our greatest natural resources, Seneca Lake. The engaging and industrious nature of the HWS community does not end there, as staff and faculty colleagues begin work on an important curriculum review designed to broaden our notions of a 21st century education. Work is also underway to make necessary improvements to our facilities as we carefully balance the needs of the physical plant with our academic and athletic programs. Projects include the renovation of Merritt Hall to make the building and its primary teaching space handicapped accessible and the reconfiguration of Eaton and Rosenberg Halls to accommodate research and teaching requirements. In anticipation of the 2014 groundbreaking, significant effort is being made to advance the design of the new Performing Arts Center as well as complete fundraising for the project.
This summer, visits from prospective students to campus have accelerated with families arriving from around the world and the country to tour campus, meet students and faculty, and learn more about a Hobart and William Smith education. The Colleges also host a number of summer camps and programs designed to provide children of all ages with enhanced and professional instruction in athletics and academics, with many of these campers eventually applying to and enrolling at HWS. Summer Academy, a two-week academic program for high-achieving Geneva High School students headed by Professor of Chemistry Walter Boyer, takes place on campus as does Summer Institute, a longstanding initiative that allows incoming students the opportunity to prepare for life at HWS by taking college preparatory classes in subjects like writing and the sciences. Students from New Jersey SEEDS are also here to take courses and participate in a job shadowing program with faculty, staff and community members.
Colleagues across campus are also hard at work preparing for the arrival of the new incoming classes, registering them for classes on an individual basis and preparing for Orientation Weekend. The Classes of 2017 are among the most impressive groups of students in recent memory. Of the students who will arrive this fall, 56 percent have enrolled at HWS through Early Decision, making the Colleges their first and only choice. In addition, more than 20 percent of the incoming classes are from legacy families, the largest amount to enroll in a single year, demonstrating the strength of the vital ties between the Colleges and our network of more than 20,000 alumni and alumnae.
These new students join a vibrant community of faculty, coaches, staff members, alums and parents dedicated to scholarship, research, civic engagement, inclusive excellence and sustainability. Many of their accomplishments are detailed on the following pages. This issue of The Pulteney Street Survey pays particular homage to the important work being done to preserve, protect and more fully understand water, whether that water is here in the Finger Lakes or around the world.
On the facing page is an image of the Colleges’ research vessel which first arrived on campus in 1976. It was renamed the William F. Scandling on the occasion of Bill’s 80th birthday to honor the devotion that he showed his alma mater, a fitting tribute to a man who spent as much time as possible sailing the world. Among the many things that differentiate the Colleges, our investment in research about water is notable and illustrates the rich and essential connection between HWS and Seneca Lake, the iconic backdrop of the Colleges. In the pages that follow, you will see the prominence of this connection, calling attention to the influence and promise that water has had on the HWS community, and will continue to have in the future.
With every best wish, I remain
Mark D. Gearan