Laura E. Strickler '94

Tri-State William Smith Regional Vice President

Associate Director for Administration, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University

Lawrenceville, N.J.

William Smith Congress
Assistant Director, Admissions (post-graduation)

Majors: English and Art History

Why did you choose Hobart and William Smith Colleges? William Smith chose me, to be honest.  I was wait-listed at my first choice, which in the end should never have been my first choice.  Also, I was encouraged by a family friend, Ellen Arnold Groff '67. She was an amazing champion when it came to HWS.

How do you stay connected to the Colleges? I love getting the e-newsletter. In the past I have also acted as a regional club president, an admissions volunteer, a class agent, a reunion committee member, a member of alumnae council. Whatever I have been asked to do, I try to do.  

What makes the Colleges special? The Colleges are a place where one can investigate any topic of interest, and with the help of faculty, craft that into a meaningful academic project, whether an individual major, honors topic, independent study, or simply a gratifying experience.  I like to think that this empowers students to seek paths for their careers, graduate work, or general life fulfillment.  It creates inquisitive, thoughtful, appreciative alumni and alumnae who feel connected and want to give back to a place that gave them so many opportunities. It's also; let’s face it, a gorgeous place to spend four years -- in every season.

Why do you give back to HWS? For the reasons I listed above.  And also, because whenever I interface with anyone or any part of the HWS community, feel like I am part of a dynamic, appreciative, and supportive group.  

What are your goals as a Regional Network volunteer? My number one goal is to support the Tri-State team leaders and volunteers who are in the field establishing the connections and focusing on the activities in their portfolios.  Whether I can offer advice on how to meet their goals, show up for their events, or help them make connections, I will be available to them as needed.

What advice would you give to an incoming or current HWS student? When I entered HWS I knew I wanted to be an English major -- I was dismayed when I was assigned Professor Don Woodrow (a geoscientist) as my first advisor.  I told him that I wanted to declare my major and get an English faculty advisor ASAP. Thank goodness he encouraged me to stick it out with him until I had to declare my major, even though we agreed I would focus the majority of my credits on English courses.  I am grateful that he convinced me, because he encouraged me to take an art history class (and a GEO class, of course).  The art history was a complete joy and I ended up as a double major.  If it weren't for him, I doubt I would have ever made it out to Houghton House. So the advice is: take a look around, ask for suggestions from unlikely sources, and keep an open mind.  You can do more than one thing, whether it is academic, social, athletic, service, or something you can't even think of on your own.


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.