NEW ENGLAND REGION PROFILE
Todd H.Rosenthal '71, P'11
New England Development Coordinator
Sole Proprietor, Todd H. Rosenthal Communications
West Hartford, Conn.
Geneva Book Drives
Tutor, Geneva City Schools
Why did you choose Hobart and William Smith Colleges? To be totally honest, I had planned on attending Trinity College until I got “cold feet” about going to school only a few miles away from the fabulous North End Hartford neighborhood I grew up in. As I began the college search process I knew only two things about HWS: 1) that the former vice president of Trinity, Bert Holland (a friend of my father’s), had recently been named president of HWS, and 2) a really smart guy from my high school, Bob Gilman ’70, was at Hobart and liked it a lot. After visiting the campus on a spectacular fall day and meeting several really nice students, I found myself moving HWS to the top of my college list. The deal was sealed when I received a very generous financial aid package from the Colleges and my very best friend from high school decided to attend college nearby at the University of Rochester.
How do you stay connected to the Colleges? Over the years I have stayed connected to the Colleges in several ways. In the 1970’s, when I was teaching English, coaching and working as a college counselor at Kingswood-Oxford School in West Hartford, I volunteered to interview prospective students from the Hartford area, something I continued to do for many, many years. For the last few years I also have served as a class agent assigned to helping raise money for the Annual Fund by contacting classmates and asking them to “dig deep” for their fabulous alma mater. In addition, I have attended most of my five-year reunions over the last four decades, in large part because many of the friends I made on campus between 1967 and 1971 remain among my best friends to this day Finally, my wife Elizabeth Schaub Rosenthal ’72, and I have stayed connected by visiting the campus when my son, Nate, was a student-athlete at nearby Colgate University and on many more occasions between 2007 and 2011, when my daughter, Molly, attended HWS, a school she loved every bit as much as we did.
What makes the Colleges special? I often think that my experience at HWS was so special because “the times” â€“ Vietnam, Tommy the Traveler, the civil rights movement, etc. â€“ played such an important role in building a strong sense of community on campus. What I have found by staying connected to the Colleges over the years is that HWS remains a very special place â€“ a community that embraces, among other things, learning, caring, diversity and a passion for public service. I am particularly pleased to see how much more involved HWS students are in life beyond the beautiful campus, especially in Geneva. In my days as a student, town-gown relationships were often strained. It is good to know that those tensions are long gone.
Why do you give back to HWS? I give back because, simply put, HWS gave so much to me: a rich, thought-provoking education; four years in one of the most beautiful regions in the country; self-reliance; a deeper understanding of the importance of community; and scores of fabulous, lifelong friends. For these, and other reasons, I have given to the annual fund every year since I graduated, as well as given my time as a Hartford-area admissions representative and class agent. And to top it off, I have given back by "loaning" my wonderful daughter, Molly '11, to HWS for four years, where she thrived as I did.
What are your goals as a Regional Network volunteer? My primary goal is to encourage the involvement of more of my fellow HWS graduates in the ongoing life of the Colleges through active and enthusiastic participation in the admissions process, annual fund initiatives and the many other activities that are so critical to the future of Hobart and William Smith.
What advice would you give to an incoming or current HWS student? Jump right in. The water is warm â€“ except, as I know from first-hand experience, in Seneca Lake.