Student Conversations

Connor May ’16
New York, N.Y.

Analyst at Nielsen Catalina Solutions; major in media & society, double minor in economics and theatre; president of Kappa Alpha Society; treasurer of the Inter-Fraternity Council; delivered the 2016 Hobart Commencement Address; member of the Stewardson Society Executive Committee; interned at 2adpro in India

As a teenager, I had a problem with drugs and alcohol. I came to Hobart with three months clean but relapsed. I blamed the Colleges and Geneva; I was convinced that HWS was the root of my problem and that I had to find the solution elsewhere. Trustee Tom Poole ’61, P’91, L.H.D. ’06, who I think of as an honorary grandfather, took me to dinner. He was having none of it. For every criticism I had, he had a rebuttal. By the end of dinner, I was committed to staying. I wanted to get better, to be happy. I struggled academically that first year due to my situation. I’ve been sober since October 7, 2012. Sticking it out and using HWS as a resource was one of the best decisions I ever made.

As a sober kid, you wouldn’t think fraternity life would be something I’d be attracted to, but KA has been the best thing for me. I’m good at making budgets and at managing people and projects. And because of what I’ve gone through, I’ve got experience having uncomfortable conversations. There have been uncomfortable conversations happening on campus and we’ve tackled them head on. One of them is about fraternities. People base their opinions of fraternities on what they experience on a Friday or Saturday night. Come see what we’re about every other day of the week. Fraternities have the potential to do good things, to partner with other student groups to create a better community. Fraternities pride themselves on philanthropy but I also recognize that there’s a disconnect between the amount of time we talk about service and the actual service we are doing. We’ve been working to change that. Nationally, fraternities are in a collective hole. At HWS, we have the tools to rectify the situation if we want to do so. We have to light a fire, get to work and fix the things that need to be fixed.


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.