5 p.m., Tuesday. A crowd of men, many in slacks and ties, congregated on McDaniels Lawn and prepared to make the annual procession down to Seneca Lake for every Hobart senior's rite of passage: Hobart Launch.
After following the zigzagging gravel path from South Main Street down to Bozzuto Boathouse, the seniors were congratulated and welcomed into the Hobart alumni community by faculty, staff, alumni and Director of Alumni Relations Jared Weeden ’91.
Alumnus Speaker John Enright ’95, a private wealth advisor with Sagemark Consulting, joked through his speech, giving students his opinions and advice, and encouraging the soon-to-be-graduates to attend alumni events because, he quipped, “The beer is free.”
“The Hobart experience is a lifetime experience,” Enright said, more seriously. “There is a unique bond among alums. I’ve been stopped by fellow alumni all over the world when I was wearing a Hobart sweatshirt or hat.”
Student speaker Derek Peterson ’08 fondly recalled, with some assistance from classmates in the audience, memories from the past four years at Hobart —t he apprehensions of incoming first-years, the carefree attitude of sophomore year and the pressures and looming realities of junior and senior years.
Joseph “Showtime Joe” Hatfield was ceremoniously inducted as an honorary member of the Class of 2008, soliciting raucous applause. Following his induction, each of the men in attendance was presented with a wooden oar, embossed with the Hobart seal and “Class of 2008,” and a Nat Sherman Hobart cigar.
Fortified for their final days of carousing on campus before graduation, the Hobart Class of 2008 walked back up the hill with Enright’s advice still on their minds: “‘If it is to be, it is up to me’ doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself if you want it to happen. It means that if you have a dream, you can accomplish it.”