The Illustrious Namesake

In 1978, The Board of Trustees at Hobart and William Smith Colleges established The Emerson Society to honor an important figure in the Colleges' history - a man who, until his death in 1977, played a key role in guiding the Colleges' plans with his wisdom and helped to implement them with his gifts.

William M. Emerson, past president of Dunn and McCarthy, Inc., of Auburn, New York, was a trustee of Hobart and William Smith Colleges from 1960 to 1977. A longtime member of the Board's Executive Council, William Emerson also served for ten years as chair of the Financial Affairs and Business Committee. His ability to combine the pragmatism of a business leader with the visionary perception of a passionate advocate for the liberal arts made him an invaluable counselor to fellow trustees and presidents.

Beyond his contributions of time and talent, William Emerson's personal gifts and those of the Fred L. Emerson Foundation Inc. provided the most generous financial support the Colleges had ever received at the time through the intervention of a single individual. In addition to his generous philanthropy, William Emerson understood the trinity of voluntary support - time, talents and treasure - and he gave untiringly of all three.

An Invitation

The Emerson Society, the name of the Colleges' most prominent giving recognition group, continues to honor William Emerson's legacy of service as participant, adviser and benefactor. Today, members of The Emerson Society provide leadership financial support to the Colleges, enabling them to continue their commitment to excellence in liberal arts education.

Membership in The Emerson Society is achieved annually by making gifts to Hobart and William Smith Colleges totaling $2,000 or more during the fund year. We invite you to add your name to William Emerson's on the roll of those to whom Hobart and William Smith can count on for assistance and leadership.

Giving Levels

The Emerson Society consists of five giving levels:

  • Founders' Circle
    $2,000 - 4,999
  • President's Circle
    $5,000 - 9,999
  • Trustees' Circle
    $10,000 - 24,999
  • Chair's Circle
    $25,000 - 49,999
  • Scandling Associates

A Special Opportunity for Our Youngest Alums

Young alumni and alumnae are an important part of leadership giving at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. For this reason, alumni and alumnae from the last ten graduating classes have the opportunity to become Emerson Society members at prorated levels. Young alums gain membership by giving $100 for each year since graduation up to ten years out. For example, a person graduating two years ago would become an Emerson Society member with a gift of $200. This enables young alumni and alumnae to take a leadership role in continuing the tradition of giving back to Hobart and William Smith.



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