The Statesmen and the Herons. The names themselves evoke strength, teamwork, ingenuity and success. With a tremendous history of accomplishment, today's Hobart and William Smith student-athletes have competed against some of the best teams in the country winning dozens of championships. The lessons they learn on the field, water, ice, track, court and grass prepare them to be leaders in the classroom and the community.
In late August, we welcomed 605 first-year students to campus selected from the largest applicant pool in our history. Among them are presidents and founders of school clubs, recipients of Eagle and Silver Scout Awards, and editors of major school publications. One-third are members of the National Honor Society and 250 were captains of their high school athletic teams.
In this issue of The Pulteney St. Survey, we focus on the vitality of today's Hobart and William Smith athletic programs. With a storied legacy, both Hobart and William Smith athletes continue to excel and distinguish themselves. Campaign for the Colleges seeks to secure the resources for critical facilities necessary to continue our success. I know you will enjoy reading of the many alumni and alumnae who draw upon the lessons learned in Geneva.
Welcoming our students to campus at Convocation Exercises was civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis. It's been 44 years since the March on Washington when Lewis - just 23 years old - was one of only ten speakers, including his friend and colleague Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to address the crowds. Lewis spoke about the struggle for civil rights and, as Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, mobilized his generation of students in the fight against injustice and intolerance. Lewis endured numerous arrests during peaceful demonstrations and nearly lost his life from two vicious beatings, one during a Freedom Ride and another while marching in Alabama. Despite all of this, Lewis never lost his belief that he could make a difference. He is a man who is filled with hope and love, who has dedicated himself to protecting human rights and personal dignity. He is a man who has lived a life of consequence.
I wanted John Lewis to come to campus because his message of perseverance in the face of insurmountable challenges is as an antidote to the cynicism so prevalent in America today.
The start of an academic year is always an exciting time. Anxious first year students arrive with parents anticipating the college journey. Sophomores return a bit more confident while many juniors spend a semester studying around the world. Seniors face a final year to maximize the many opportunities at the Colleges and contemplate their next steps.
At Convocation, I announced the formation of a Commission on Inclusive Excellence, the development of a Geneva Partnership, and our agreement to sign the President's Global Climate Commitment. In the months ahead, you will be hearing about these efforts. Congressman John Lewis framed the year with a dynamic address urging greater civic engagement and responsibility.
We're off to a good start.
Mark D. Gearan
Record Classes and a Good Start
Fall 2007 Pulteney St. Survey