PSS Summer '12

From HWS, With Love

Hunter Lacroix


Hometown: Delray Beach, Fla.

Majors: Russian Studies and History

Beyond HWS: LaCroix will be working for the U.S. government in Washington D.C.

  • Member of the HWS EMS Corps
  • Former Hobart Student Government president
  • Vice president of the Interfraternity Council
  • Completed Honors in History

I grew up in Florida, and I applied to 17 colleges and universities across the country in all kinds of climates. But I ended up in Geneva, N.Y. I still ask myself why sometimes, when the wind whips up and the snow is knee deep.

True, I had a connection to the Colleges—my grandfather graduated in 1953, and my aunt graduated in 1973—but it was more than family ties that led me here. I selected Hobart and William Smith because of the accessibility of the faculty, and I couldn’t have made a better decision.

Dean of William Smith and Professor of History Susanne McNally was my First-Year Seminar professor, my introduction to what professors are like here. She is the quintessential image of a college professor, but she’s so much more than that, too. Over the course of the semester, she connected to each one of us as people. She encouraged me to find my voice and helped me find my niche on campus.

All of my professors were like that–from Associate Professor of Russian Kristen Welsh, who helped me juggle my many interests, to Professor of History Derek Linton, who ended up being my Honors adviser. While some of my friends at other schools struggled, I never felt alone. I never felt like there weren’t at least five people I could ask for help. I always knew there was someone here to talk to.

With their help, I was able to explore all of my interests before settling in on Russian history. I’ll admit–Professor McNally had something to do with that. I remember, vividly, one class session in Russian History where we listened to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture as she broke down the entire piece as a means of explaining Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. I haven’t listened to music the same way since.

I’m sad that my HWS experience is coming to a close, but I’m excited to go on to the next challenge. I grew up in a public service-oriented family, so I’ve always sort of known that I’d go into diplomatic or foreign affairs, but Hobart and William Smith have helped me focus and given me a solid foundation from which to grow.”


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.