It has been a truly remarkable few months here at the Colleges. I am delighted to report that in December, Julia James '04 was the first William Smith student selected to receive the highly competitive Rhodes Scholarship. One of only 32 students in the nation, Julia will continue her studies this fall at Oxford University in England, where she will pursue a Ph.D. in HIV immunology. Julia will be in good company; some of the greatest American thinkers of the 20th Century are Rhodes Scholars, including Supreme Court Justices, Pulitzer Prize winners and Nobel Laureates.
Although this scholarship is first and foremost a wonderful reflection on Julia's academic excellence, integrity and character, it is also a testament to the high degree of academic engagement at HWS. Additions to the Colleges such as our new academic building, Stern Hall, the rehabilitation of Trinity Hall to house the Salisbury Center and the science laboratories in Rosenberg and Napier all serve to create an environment where students can explore and discover their interests. The Colleges' focus on community service, internships and study abroad, as well as programs that allow students to perform research with faculty during the summer months, give students the opportunity to realize their potential and grow as individuals. In this kind of environment, where students are eager to learn and faculty and staff take the time to nurture student talent, remarkable things can happen. And remarkable things do happen here.
Julia may be our first William Smith Rhodes Scholar, but she will not be our last. Just this year, the average SAT score of accepted students jumped 15 points. A full 31 percent of The Classes of '07 are from the top 10 percent of their high school classes. Through the support of alumni, alumnae, parents and friends, the Colleges are well on the way to raising the endowment to $200 million, a level that will afford future HWS students even more opportunities for success.
To show their support of Julia's efforts, the entire Hobart and William Smith Board of Trustees gathered together to fund a trip for her and her mentor, Professor of Chemistry Carol Parish, to visit Oxford, England, during spring break. It is our collective hope that Julia will come away from this trip familiar with her new alma mater and appreciative of the deep pride and joy we all take in her accomplishments.
I hope you will join me in celebrating Julia's success, and the success of all Hobart and William Smith students who, like Julia, benefit from an educational environment that values curiosity, cultivates creativity, promotes interdisciplinary learning and rewards ingenuity.
With every best wish, I am,
Mark D. Gearan
Setting the Stage for Success
Spring 2004 Pulteney St. Survey