PSS Winter '13


The eighth Station of the Cross created by artist Frances A. Hart, in
St. John’s Chapel.


Thirty-two years ago, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Kevin Mitchell married his wife Ellen in St. John’s Chapel. Recalling the event, Kevin notes that those 40 minutes changed the course of their lives. So when the couple recently learned that Dr. George N. Abraham ’59 had gifted the Colleges with four Stations of the Cross created by artist Frances A. Hart, they were inspired to purchase the remaining ten to complete the set. The result is a stunning addition to the Chapel – with each bronze plaque hanging in a window embrasure where, during evening services, they are illuminated by candlelight. As we mark the 150th anniversary of St. John’s Chapel, there is no better way to celebrate the Chapel’s spiritual role on campus than through the addition of this meaningful artwork. Through their generosity, Kevin, Ellen and George have enhanced the Chapel for generations to come.

Here at the Colleges, we observe the passage of time in a variety of ways – the semester with its attendant cycle of classes, papers, mid-terms and finals; the academic year with its bookend traditions of Convocation and Commencement; and the four years it takes students to complete their degrees. But it’s also important to pause and look back to see how, over the longer arc of time, the Colleges have evolved and grown – the passage of Title IX which affected the ways that colleges and universities support academic and athletic programs, the changes in curriculum that have shaped who we are as an institution, the creation of the women’s studies and LGBT departments, and the generosity of our alums – like Bill Scandling ’49, LL.D. ’67, whose inspirational leadership and dedication to Hobart and William Smith profoundly altered our future.

Every four years during the presidential election, it has been my privilege to co-teach a course on campaigns and elections. In addition to sharing my passion for politics, the experience allows me to understand anew the rigors of the classroom – the kind of commitment to students that my faculty colleagues exhibit every day, and the joy that comes when students are engaged in the subject matter. This semester, I have been especially impressed by the skills of our students; they are accomplished writers and critical thinkers who are passionate about the role that they can and are playing in the future of our nation.

And finally, I am proud to reflect on the significant accomplishments of our student-athletes and their coaches. In the water and on fields and courts, they have demonstrated that hard work and cooperation can result in substantial achievements. Recently our football team, ably led by Head Coach Mike Cragg P’13, advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time ever in the history of the program. In addition to finishing the regular season undefeated, the Statesmen have broke several team and individual game and season records.

As we mark the end of this calendar year, and in this season of gratitude and giving, I thank you for your continued dedication to the Colleges.

With every best wish, I remain


Mark D. Gearan


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.