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William Smith Leaders

Judy Haslam Cross ’52, L.H.D. ’00, P’85
Honorary Trustee

Cross has spent the past 50 years as an influential and dedicated volunteer for Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She has been class agent since 1960 and class correspondent for more than 22 years. She was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1984 through 1992, including service as vice-chair. At various junctures, she was on the admissions, development, library, and honors committees, and on the Executive Council. She continues to serve as an honorary trustee.

A passionate advocate for William Smith, Cross has made immeasurable contributions to the Colleges' development efforts, including her chairmanship of the trustee's development committee. She has also chaired committees for the alumnae fund, special gifts, and leadership giving, among others. She was a regional chair for the mid-1980s fund-raising campaign and national co-chair for the Campaign for Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Cross was a driving force in the creation of the Alumna Achievement Award, chairing the committee that led to its establishment in 1998. She received the Alumnae citation and, in 1993, the Elizabeth Herendeen Odell Award. The Judith Haslam Cross ’52 Award was created by the William Smith Alumnae Association to honor a senior whose leadership and service to students and alumnae has advanced the institution, much as Cross herself has done.

A member of the Wheeler Society, Cross received an honorary degree in 2000.

How did serving on the Board of Trustees change your view of the Colleges?
It broadened and deepened my view from that of an involved alumna to a participant in decision making on issues affecting all aspects of the Colleges.

What were the most important initiatives undertaken during your tenure on the Board?
We were dealing with an unanticipated change in the presidency so had to concentrate on the problems inherent in that situation. Probably my greatest contribution was being in a position to influence the outcome.

How do you define leadership?
Leadership involves the setting of goals then listening to and working with others to accomplish those goals.

Do you think women lead differently than men?
No, I think there are many styles of leadership and that gender is not a significant factor in the differences.

How did you get where you are today? Can you trace it to a certain moment, experience or personality trait?
Several events early in life affected the course of the rest. If ability to adapt is a personality trait, that was essential.

 
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