In Manhattan this past May, The Seneca Society held its fourth biennial dinner for donors who have made gifts that have transformed Hobart and William Smith. The Seneca Society was established in 2006 to honor the extraordinary philanthropy of donors past and present. In addition to the dinner held every two years in the spring, names of the members are engraved on The Seneca Society donor wall located in the courtyard on the southwest side of the Scandling Campus Center, creating a lasting tribute to the important difference they have made.
At the recognition dinner, new inductees into The Seneca Society included Trustee Allison Morrow ’76 and Trustee N. Harrison (Pete) Buck ’81 and Nancy B. Buck P’12. Each new member received a tribute from President Mark D. Gearan, sharing details of the member’s commitment to Hobart and William Smith throughout the years.
In thanking Trustee Allison Morrow ’76, Gearan remarked, “You have brought your expertise to the Colleges’ Board of Trustees and you inspire us all to set bigger goals for philanthropy. You consistently provide important and thoughtful analysis as well as productive solutions.”
In addition to her most recent gift in support of the Performing Arts Center, Morrow has contributed to the enhancement of campus including the Winn-Seeley Gymnasium, Stern Hall, and the Katherine D. Elliott ’66 Studio Arts Building. She has, as well, inspired the establishment of the Allison Morrow ’76 Scholarship Fund to aid students of promise.
Pete ’81 and Nancy B. Buck P’12 were praised for their holistic approach to supporting the Colleges through their work with Admissions, Student Life, Academic and Advancement offices. Gearan said, “As both an alum and as parents, you have a unique perspective into the total HWS experience, one that you have correctly identified as being profoundly impacted by faculty.”
As a student, Pete found a passion for the study of the American experience guided by his professor and mentor Eric Patterson. Thirty years later, the Bucks’ son Henry ’12 became an American Studies major through his own strong connection with Professor Patterson. In appreciation and celebration of the power of great teaching, the Bucks created The Buck Family Endowed Scholarship in Honor of Eric Patterson. Gearan congratulated them saying, “Pete and Nancy, for the ways in which you are propelling the Colleges through your philanthropy and through your engagement as a trustee and parents, I thank you.”
The previous evening, the group attended the Broadway play “Lucky Guy,” starring two-time Academy Award winner and Emmy nominee Tom Hanks in addition to our very own Chris McDonald ’77. The evening included a conversation with Hanks and McDonald after the play and a reception at Sardis.
Tom Poole ’61, P’91, L.H.D.’06, Trustee and Seneca Society member remarked, “At the urging of former Board Chair Charlie Salisbury ’63, P’94, L.H.D.’08, The Seneca Society was created to celebrate the great progress of the Colleges and to honor those – past, present and future – who make the Colleges central in their lives and in their philanthropy. We owe Charlie a debt of gratitude for all he has done, and we look forward to adding many new members to The Seneca Society in the future.”