Alumnae gather for Centennial update
Under exposed beams, alumnae gathered for tea and cake during the William Smith High Tea on Saturday afternoon, coming together where, just an hour previously, construction workers and brick layers were hard at work.
"This Centennial celebration is not just a William Smith event,” said Dean Debra DeMeis, welcoming alums to the construction site and outlining the progress of the William Smith Centennial celebration over the past year. “It's an event that the entire Colleges community has been celebrating, and that's what makes it really special."
No ordinary construction site, the exposed cinderblocks and subflooring at 603 South Main Street will soon come together as part of the William Smith Centennial Center for Leadership, transforming into a large multi-purpose room for dinners, lectures and classes. Currently under renovation, the Center's main building, right next door, will house offices and more classroom space.
"The Centennial Center will serve as a permanent visual representation of the William Smith Centennial and support a comprehensive program for leadership development at the Colleges, including scholarships and fellowships," said Assistant Vice President for the William Smith Centennial Fund Mara O'Laughlin '66, who traced the Centennial celebration from its infancy into its adulthood as a multi-platform commemoration and dedication to leading women at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Guests at the annual tea were excited to be a part of the tradition of mid-day tea at William Smith, but were especially interested in learning more about the Centennial celebration. "I'm curious to see how the Centennial is progressing," said Hannah Hardman Ostrye '75, who returned to campus to celebrate her husband Daniel's 35th Reunion. "I initially learned about the Centennial from Mara in early 2007, and it's great to see how far she's taken it."
Commemorating 100 years of leading women, the William Smith Centennial officially started in Geneva in December 2006, marking the occasion of William Smith's founding gift. Festivities will conclude on November 8, 2008, during a weekend of Centennial-themed events and a momentous celebration on campus. To learn more about the William Smith Centennial, visit www.hws.edu/centennial.