Commencement 2019


Recalling the struggles of both family members and famous women, Commencement speaker Dorothy Wickenden '76, L.H.D. '14, executive editor of The New Yorker and a former HWS Trustee, advised the Classes of 2019 to remember that "every generation has terrors to stare down. Shake off apathy and inertia. Seek the highest good."

In his final valedictory address as interim president, Patrick A. McGuire L.H.D. '12 reminded graduates that change happens through "debate, compassion, action," and thanked them for their "diverse voices and experiences [that] have changed the trajectory of the institution for the better."

The 2019 ceremony was the 194th Commencement of Hobart College and the 108th Commencement of William Smith College. The Colleges awarded degrees to 247 Hobart students, 248 William Smith students and 12 master's candidates, as well as one College Experience Certificate through the HWS and ARC partnership program.


Honorary Degrees Awarded

The Colleges awarded honorary degrees to Edward A. Froelich '55 and Gloria Robinson Lowry '52 during Commencement 2019.

Froelich, a retired senior supervisory analyst and vice president at Pershing LLC, has been a driving force behind the growth of Hobart and William Smith's campus through a lifetime of philanthropy. He was inducted into the Hobart Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006 and again in 2010, when he was only the third person to join the Hall of Fame in the "benefactor" category. A Seneca Society member for his philanthropy, Froelich received the William J. Napier '57 Award in 2003, an Alumni Citation in 2005 and the Distinguished Service Award in 2012.


Lowry, whose honorary degree was awarded in absentia, graduated from William Smith as president of her class and the College's first African American alumna, before going on to a long and distinguished career as a fifth grade teacher in Pasadena, Calif. Each year, an award in Lowry's name is given to a William Smith student of color who has demonstrated a commitment to justice and inclusivity.