We often tell prospective students that at Hobart and William Smith, they will be known. Students are known by their professors and deans, by their classmates and coaches, by the Colleges' staff and the residents of Geneva. They are known for their accomplishments in the classroom and on the playing field. They are known for their community engagement, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for new ideas and experiences. They are known for the joy they take in intellectual discovery and for their commitment to thoughtful and open inquiry. But no matter how well-known they may become in their professions or how far they may travel to pursue lives of consequence, they are connected by lifelong membership in the HWS community.
It is our community that remains one of our most enduring and powerful strengths. Consequently, HWS 2015 elevates the concept of community by committing to community engagement as a tangible, measurable goal.
- As part of HWS 2015, we recommend a deeper relationship with the City of Geneva so that we can improve life for all who live, work and study in the region. We intend to expand the Geneva Partnership by implementing a wide range of mutually beneficial initiatives with substantive results for students and community. With so many models of citizenship in Geneva for our students to learn from – men and women who care deeply about this community and who work to make it better – our students will learn the role they play in sustaining and improving their own communities.
- As part of the expansion of the Geneva Partnership, we will explore the creation of curricular opportunities related to community as well as the establishment of a Certificate of Engagement. In this work, we will prioritize initiatives that put the HWS campus into use beyond the traditional academic calendar, that make the campus a resource for the community, and that create overlapping enrichment for faculty, staff, students and community members.
- When students graduate from Hobart and William Smith, they join a vast network of nearly 20,000 alumni and alumnae scattered across the world and living in nearly every country on the planet. Pockets of density in urban areas like New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, offer opportunities for us to translate the sense of community that students feel on campus to post-graduation life. As part of HWS 2015, we intend to develop a nationwide Regional Structure for engaging alums, parents and prospective students. HWS staff and high level volunteers in nine regions will manage activity and communication to broaden our reach across the continent. In doing so, we hope to deepen the sense of affiliation that alumni and alumnae have with their alma mater, consolidate the management of volunteers allowing for more efficient support of their work, and establish a wider, more consistent HWS presence throughout the country.
- Approximately 24% of all HWS alums are graduates of the last decade. Creating a deeper engagement with recent graduates is necessary for the longtime health and vitality of the Colleges. As part of HWS 2015, we will re- envision an alumni and alumnae relations program that fosters stronger ties with the Colleges through new forms of communication, services, benefits, events and volunteer opportunities.
- During the past 10 – 15 years, research in the field of organizational productivity and sustainability has focused on the concept of employee engagement. This term is often defined as people who possess a purpose and a passion for their work and employer. They are emotionally invested in their jobs, believe their work is meaningful and recognized, commit to continually improving their skills, are willing to advocate for the organization, and trust their employer. As part of HWS 2015, we will implement programs and processes that heighten motivation and engagement. With a focus on professional development, we will support and grow a high performing, highly engaged workforce.
- Of priority to HWS 2015 will be investigating and implementing procedures and policies that give the admissions and financial aid offices greater flexibility to enroll those students best equipped to add academic and social value to the fabric of the HWS community, regardless of their demonstrated financial aid. We will therefore explore all avenues of cost control and revenue enhancement so that the campus can function as both a source of revenue and a resource for the community. This includes the implementation of night programs, summer programs, lifelong learner programs, continuing education, and online courses.