Dear Friends,

I write at the end of a remarkable semester on campus, one marked by extraordinary collaboration and thoughtful dialogue. The national attention the Colleges received regarding an alleged sexual assault on our campus presented us with an opportunity to make an important difference. As an institution of higher education that always strives to improve, our response has mirrored our mission – to seek advancement and knowledge, and to provide leadership on a defining social issue. If you have been following the Colleges on social networking or checking progress via the HWS website, you know that the past months have included earnest effort on the part of everyone in our community. As we acknowledge that the Colleges have systems, policies and caring professionals that exceed the standards at many other institutions, we are called to do more.

The article by Andrew Wickenden ’09 that begins on page 4 captures the scope of work underway and the many perspectives of community members who have been working so assiduously on these efforts. The open dialogue that has been created is leading to solutions that are forward-leaning and that will move the Colleges to a new level of excellence.

As the pages of this issue of The Pulteney Street Survey reflect, this has also been a semester of great accomplishment for our students, faculty and staff, with a dazzling array of public lectures, events, concerts and athletic contests.

After a thorough review, the Middle States accreditation body gave the Colleges an outstanding report, lauding Hobart and William Smith for its academic approach and for the sense of community and common purpose it found on campus.

That community was on display during Orientation when we welcomed an impressive group of first-year students to campus. Among the largest classes we have enrolled, the 653 members of the Classes of 2018 arrived at the Colleges with notable records of academic achievement and with high GPAs and SAT scores. Among them are 19 class presidents, 181 varsity sports captains and 21 club founders. Most participated in some form of community service in high school and more than 100 are related to alumni, alumnae or current students, making them eligible for the Legacy Scholars Program. The Classes of 2018 have already started to establish a legacy of academic purpose, impressing the faculty with their dedication to coursework and their desire to make a difference in the world around them.

They join a cohort of returning students who are equally notable. In the past months, our students took first prize in a NASA competition, were named to important fellowships and scholarships, and, with their faculty mentors, chased tornadoes across 14 states. It was exciting to see the opening of the HWS Theatre season with a sophisticated production of Molière’s “Tartuffe” and to watch the long history of Koshare Dance continue to a sold-out audience at the Smith Opera House.

Last semester, the inaugural William Smith ice hockey team started what is sure to be an exciting legacy. The William Smith soccer team returned to the NCAA Division III tournament and Hobart football had its third consecutive, undefeated regular season.

Homecoming and Family Weekend welcomed 3,500 alumni, alumnae, parents and guests to campus, the largest attendance at Homecoming we’ve seen. Likewise, our regional events across the country, including a special President’s Forum in New York City featuring political strategists Mary Matalin P’17 and James Carville P’17, LL.D. ’13, have been very well received. As the National Regional Network continues to gain momentum, more and more alums are gathering at regional HWS events, symposia and athletic contests. Dozens also return to campus each semester to offer students career advice, add texture to conversations in the classroom, and give students the kind of one-on-one mentorship that can bring clarity to life and job decisions. And, as the entire campus community watches, the new, 65,000 square-foot performing arts center – made possible through the generosity of alums, parents and friends – is very quickly taking shape on campus, adding much-needed academic space for music, theatre, dance and media & society.

I thank you for your continued engagement, your attendance at events on and off campus, your support of our students and faculty, and your willingness to work together to make Hobart and William Smith an even better place.








Mark D. Gearan


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.