In recognition of the deep and abiding difference that staff members have had and continue to have on the lives of students, Hobart and William Smith are proud to support two awards. Named in honor of Lillian E. Collins and James Henderson '75, each a longtime employee of the Colleges, the awards recognize students of color whose accomplishments and passion match those of two people whose lives have been dedicated to making HWS a more inclusive and welcoming place for all students.
The Lillian E. Collins Endowed Scholarship Fund
Established by family and friends of Lillian Collins in recognition of her service and dedication to the students of Hobart and William Smith and greater Geneva community. Lillian was a champion on campus for multicultural students and a staunch supporter of the Afro-Latino Alumni Association.
This important scholarship fund shall be awarded to an upper-class historically underrepresented ethnic minority student at Hobart and William Smith who is academically qualified and financially deserving. In addition, the recipients will also demonstrate a commitment to the Colleges and the Geneva community through both their service and leadership. Must be a resident or citizen of the United States.
Lillian Elizabeth Williams Collins was born on November 21, 1948 in Sanford, Fla. She migrated to Geneva in the late 1950s. In 1966, she graduated from Geneva High School and on March 6, 1967 she came to work at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Lillian began her HWS career as a Secretary in the Office of Publications with June L. Thomas. Over the years, she held many positions including Secretary in the Office of Alumni Relations and Administrative Assistant in the Office of Development. The majority of Lillian's tenure at the Colleges was spent as an Assistant to several Vice Presidents for Development. Currently she is a Senior Research Specialist in the Office of Advancement Services.
Lillian, or Miss Lillian as she is known to many, has witnessed the Colleges' transformation over the years, with the construction of buildings such as Emerson Hall, the Warren Hunting Smith Library/L. Thomas Melly '52 Center, and the Scandling Center, named after her good friend, the late William F. Scandling '49.
Although Lillian has spent her entire HWS career at Alumni House, she is perhaps best known for the tireless hours that she has contributed across the entire campus. A woman of few words, Lillian brings new meaning to the term servant leader. She has volunteered at campus activities, offered her services and expertise to events sponsored by organizations affiliated with the Office of Intercultural Affairs, and most importantly, has been a mother-away-from-home to an endless number of HWS students.
All students who have experienced Lillian's spirit of giving have been touched by and wholeheartedly appreciated her care packages. Lillian has also played a key role in ensuring that the Colleges were connected to the community. Any lecture, party or program that she thought would benefit someone, especially the community of color, she shared the information.
In her free time, Lillian has enjoyed serving on several boards and for many years as campus liaison for the United Way of Ontario County. In 1995, she was honored by the Geneva Chapter of the NAACP as the first recipient of the Mary Ann Mallard Community Service Award. She also received the Martin Luther King Committee Community Service Award in 2006.
The Dean James Henderson '75 Award of Merit is given to a student of color who embodies the spirit of Dean Henderson and his love of learning and athletics.
James Henderson, also known to many students as Dean Henderson, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1942 and in 1975, received a bachelor of science in Sociology from Hobart College.
Because of his own educational experience, Dean Henderson was keenly aware of the important role of education in helping young people build a strong foundation for life. During his 24 years of dedicated service as an administrator at HWS, he served as a counselor in the Office of Minority Affairs; the first Director of the Developmental Learning Center (later renamed the Center for Academic Support Services); Assistant to the Dean for Academic Support Services; and Assistant Dean of the Colleges in the Office of Intercultural Affairs. It was during this time that Dean Henderson developed his infamous "13 P's" (A Potent Philosophy, Preparation, and Prior Proper Planning will Positively Prevent Piss Poor Performance Permanently, but if all else fails, PRAY!) which he used as an educational model to help students understand the importance of applying themselves in their studies.
In addition to helping students, Dean Henderson was also committed to helping his community. In recognition of his involvement in community affairs, the NAACP presented Dean Henderson with the Mary Ann Mallard Community Award for "untiring and unselfish service" rendered to the community in 2004.
Dean Henderson passed away on January 26, 2007. He took great pride in assisting students with their academic performance; their success being his greatest reward. His many contributions to education and to the students at HWS and in the Geneva area have had profound and lasting imprint.