president gearan

The President's Forum Series, established in the winter of 2000 by President Mark D. Gearan, is designed to bring a variety of speakers to campus to share their knowledge and ideas with students, faculty, staff of the Colleges, as well as with interested community members. Many speakers draw audience members from the surrounding cities of Rochester, Syracuse and Ithaca.

Forum guests generally take the opportunity to visit classes or gather with students and faculty members to discuss issues. Many people have one-on-one interaction with the speakers for the exchange of ideas or thoughts.

The Forum also offers the speakers a chance to experience the vibrancy of life on this campus. Speakers routinely express their gratitude for the opportunity to have discussions with students and faculty members about the work that they do and their perceptions of the fields of interests of the guests. Since many Forum speakers are national and international policy makers, gathering thoughts and suggestions from the Colleges community aids in their future work.

The President's Forum Series will continue to bring important politicians, intellectuals, and social activists to campus-allowing the community the continual flow and exchange of ideas.


Rev. Michael B. Curry

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry ’75 joined the President's Forum Series on Nov. 4, 2016, after being awarded the Hobart Medal of Excellence in a special presentation.

Curry is the 27th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States and the first African-American to hold the Church’s top office. Curry began his term in 2015 and currently serves as the Chief Pastor and as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society and chair of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church.

Born in Chicago, Ill., Curry grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., where his father, the late Rev. Kenneth S. Curry, served as rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church. After graduating from Hobart College with a degree in religious studies, Curry earned his master of divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School.

Ordained a deacon at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Buffalo, and to the priesthood later that year at St. Stephen’s Church, Winston-Salem, N.C., Curry served as rector of St. Stephen’s and rector at St. Simon of Cyrene Episcopal Church in Lincoln Heights, Ohio. He became rector at St. James Church in Baltimore, Md., serving until his election in 2000 as the 11th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. He served as a member of the Hobart and William Smith Board of Trustees from 1988 until 1992.

In his three parish ministries, Curry was involved in Crisis Control Ministry, the founding of ecumenical summer day camps for children, preaching missions, the Absalom Jones initiative, creation of networks of family daycare providers, creation of educational centers, and the brokering of millions of dollars of investment in inner city neighborhoods.

He has received several honorary degrees, including one from Yale, and he serves on the boards of a number of organizations including the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church and as Chair and now Honorary Chair of Episcopal Relief & Development. The author of numerous publications, Curry has a national preaching and teaching ministry and has been featured on “The Protestant Hour” radio show.


Dan Boysen '11

November 10, 2016
Geneva Room
5 p.m.

Senator Tom Harkin

November 14, 2016
Vandervort Room
4:30 p.m.


John Della Volpe

James Carville L.H.D. '13, P'17 and Mary Matalin P'17


Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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