PSS

LAKEVIEWS

Dear Friends,

This issue of The Pulteney Street Survey features profiles of alumni and alumnae who, despite busy careers and family obligations, have meaningfully kept Hobart and William Smith in their lives. Whether offering career advice, mentoring students, serving as admissions volunteers, or supporting important initiatives like The Scandling Trust, these are proud members of the HWS family who demonstrate just some of the unique ways alums can stay engaged. I think you will enjoy this issue since it also provides a snapshot of the great variety of careers our graduates go on to master, from an education entrepreneur in Silicon Valley to the photographer at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

I am pleased to report that we have seen increased volunteerism with more alums agreeing to host students for internships and record high attendance at regional and campus events. And we are very grateful that annual giving to the Colleges has increased substantially with 500 more donors this fiscal year than last, the largest number of donors in nine years.

Since my last report in the Survey, I am gratified that the Colleges have continued work to make our campus an even more welcoming place through the Culture of Respect Initiative and the ongoing work related to Title IX and sexual assault issues, and the engagement of alums and parents. As the father of two daughters, no other issue is more important to me than the safety and well-being of our students. That sentiment is also held by my leadership team, our staff and our faculty, all of whom have worked tremendously hard over the past year to ensure that we have the policies and training needed to support students and that we have the options for services if and when they are needed. During the past year I have benefited from the informal conversations I have held with student groups and frequent evening meetings in student residences across campus. Listening directly to our students has been invaluable to me as we collectively work to foster and enhance a greater culture of respect on campus.

We have made meaningful progress, much of it documented on our website. Some highlights from the past year:

  1. Expanded the Office for Title IX Programs & Compliance to include the Title IX coordinator, two psychologists and an experienced Title IX legal adviser. Following a national search, in May I announced the appointment of Susan Lee as our Title IX Coordinator. Lee had served as Director of Affirmative Action and Campus Diversity at Indiana University, and Chair of the University’s Title IX Committee. With more than two decades of experience in social justice issues, Lee holds a law degree and is a former registered nurse. She is expertly suited to assume her position at Hobart and William Smith, and she will report directly to me.
  2. Conducted a review and revision of the sexual misconduct policy through the efforts of six working groups of faculty, staff and students.
  3. Significantly increased awareness and training for students, faculty and staff, including Bystander Training for all first-year students and many others through affiliations with athletic teams and student groups. A new cohort of faculty and staff members has received instruction to expand student-training in the upcoming academic year.
  4. Formed the Sexual Violence Response and Evaluation Team which meets monthly and includes staff, faculty and students as well as representatives from the Geneva Police Department, the Ontario County District Attorney’s Office, Safe Harbors of the Finger Lakes, and FF Thompson Memorial Hospital. The newly created group ensures that the student voice is central to our efforts by streamlining communication and information sharing between first responders, students, and faculty and staff in a forum designed to foster insight and feedback.
  5. Created the Culture of Respect Initiative and a corresponding committee of faculty, staff, students and trustees whose mission is to examine, research and offer recommendations designed to elicit important positive change at HWS. Already we have implemented recommendations across the spectrum of student life, campus facilities and education with more to be accomplished in the upcoming months.

Certainly there is a great deal of work ahead of us but I remain inspired by the lives of consequence our alumni and alumnae have created, by the confidence of parents who send their children to the Colleges, and by the transformative education our students receive at Hobart and William Smith.

With every best wish, I am

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

 

Mark D. Gearan President

 

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.