Giving Societies

The Seneca Society honors those whose philanthropy has remarkably altered the course of Hobart and William Smith history through cumulative gifts of more than $1 million. The next class of Seneca Society members will be inducted in 2019.

The Emerson Society recognizes those HWS community members who provide leadership financial support in any given fund year, enabling the Colleges to continue to strengthen their commitment to excellence in liberal arts education. The generosity of Emerson Society members sets an example for others of the power of engaged philanthropy. Entry into the Emerson Society starts with cumulative gifts of $2,000 made in any given fund year to the Colleges.

The Cook Parents Circle recognizes the generosity of non-alumni families that make a lasting connection with the Colleges and provide philanthropic support. This group, named in honor of Honorary Trustee Lang Cook L.H.D. '12 and Lyn Cook P'99, P'05, recognizes those families who have made commitment to the Colleges in excess of $25,000, with Lifetime Membership recognized with cumulative gifts exceeding $100,000.

The Wheeler Society was established in 1989 to encourage thoughtful planned giving at the Colleges. It is named for Schuyler Skaats Wheeler Sc.D. 1888 – inventor, intellectual and entrepreneur – and his wife Amy Sutton Wheeler who established a bequest that was realized nearly 100 years later and used in the 1990s to renovate Gulick Hall. This gift and the people who made it possible serve as the inspiration for the today's planned giving society at the Colleges.

The Stewardson Society is the Colleges’ recurring giving recognition society – and it may seem familiar to you. For 13 years Stewardson Society was the senior class gift program. It’s been rebranded to celebrate loyal donors who give on a monthly or yearly basis to support the Colleges. Named after Reverend Langdon Stewardson who served as the Colleges President from 1902 – 1912, and was the first president of the combined Hobart and William Smith Colleges.


Make a Gift

If you have any questions about giving to the Colleges, or to give to a special designation, please contact Wendy Barnhart at (315) 781-3725 or

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