Highest Honors

Alumna Achievement Award

Magazine Leadership

Recognized for her influential, principled and longstanding leadership in the magazine industry, Lucy E. Kaylin ’81, editor-in-chief of O, The Oprah Magazine, was awarded the William Smith College Alumnae Association’s highest honor – the Alumna Achievement Award – during Founder’s Day. Under Kaylin’s leadership, O boasts one of the largest monthly magazine circulations and one of the industry’s highest e-edition circulations. In Kaylin’s first two years as editor-in-chief, the magazine won back-to-back National Magazine Awards.

“I really am clear on the fact that my career and my life would not have taken the course that it did – this very satisfying course – had it not all begun here,” Kaylin said. “I received untold gifts along the lines of stimulation, inspiration and incredible attention from professors in a way that you can only get at an intimate place like this, and I am eternally grateful.”

The Scales of Justice

The Honorable Laura G. Douglas ’79 received the Alumna Achievement Award on Feb. 11 as part of events planned for the Multicultural Networking and Career Conference. The Justice of the Bronx County Supreme Court and Supervising Judge of the Bronx County Civil Court, Douglas has spent her life in service to justice. After graduating from William Smith, Douglas earned her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and was admitted to the New York State bar.

“It’s amazing to me that a little over 40 years ago, this shy 16-year-old freshman from the Bronx, New York, embarked on a wonderful journey here at Hobart and William Smith Colleges,” Douglas said in her address on campus. “I knew that William Smith would prepare me for the things I would encounter along the way and its truly a humbling experience to receive this award.”

Hobart Medal of Excellence

The Pilgrimage from Hobart and Back

Following graduation, Michael B. Curry ’75 departed Geneva with a profound sense of purpose: to spend his life challenging unjust social structures through faith. Now the first African American Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Curry has done just that and recently returned to the Colleges to receive the Hobart Medal of Excellence for his progressive initiatives and influence.

President Mark D. Gearan applauded Curry’s work as “an inclusive, authentic way to Evangelism and a commitment to racial reconciliation in our culture and our world” in the spirit of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, an enduring inspiration to Curry.

“The real way of faith is a way of self-sacrificial service, and witness, and giving, and living, and that way, is our hope,” Curry said, referring to the common values of religions like Islam and Christianity. “Those religious traditions are pointing us beyond the self and toward the other.”

Botanical Success

For his extraordinary contributions to his community and environmental learning, award-winning author and horticulturist William G. Cullina ’86 was honored with the Hobart Medal of Excellence last year. The executive director of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Cullina is renowned for his extensive knowledge of native North American plants, and is credited for the park’s distinction as Trip Advisor’s No. 1 botanical garden in America.

“In his professional and personal accomplishments, Bill Cullina exemplifies the curiosity, creativity and innovation that we value at Hobart and William Smith,” said President Mark D. Gearan, who was one of the many guests who attended the Coastal Maine gathering and presentation ceremony. “Bill’s successes ripple outward, touching the lives of his family and friends, improving his community and the environment, and strengthening his professional field and his alma mater.”


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.