Mace McDonald

Mace McDonald

LGBTQ+ Resource Center Director

Mace joined the HWS community in 2022 as the Fisher Center Predoctoral Fellow in Gender and Justice. They now serve as the LGBTQ+ Resource Center Director. This dynamic role includes Safe Zone training, queer programming, community building and supporting students. They are also a member of the Bias Incident Response Team. Mace is currently a doctoral candidate at the University at Buffalo, where they are finishing up a Ph
.D. in English with a focus in algorithm studies. They teach digital humanities classes informed by feminist and queer theory at HWS. They graduated summa cum laude from Oklahoma State University with a Master’s in English. Mace also reads Tarot and holds weekly “Tea and Tarot” events for HWS community members.
(315) 781-4371

Hobart and William Smith are home to diverse and engaged communities of LGBTQIA+ students, staff and faculty. HWS is committed to fostering a community that is open, safe and inclusive for all students, making LGBTQIA+ students feel welcomed, supported and encouraged during their time on campus. HWS’ commitment to inclusive excellence situates inclusion, equity, diversity and justice at the “core of the academic mission and institutional functioning” including faculty and staff hiring, training and evaluation, campus wide communications and assessments and regular campus climate checks and measures of accountability. The LGBTQ+ Resource Center seeks to affirm and support the identities of all LGBTQIA+ students, faculty, and staff while fostering allies that engage the community at large with compassion and empathy. Come find support, have fun, contribute allyship and get to know the Colleges' LGBTQIA+ community through events like Queer Trivia or Movie Night or participating in Transgender Day of Visibility or National Coming Out Day.

In 2002, HWS became the first college in the country to offer a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies curriculum.

Located on the first floor of deCordova Hall, the Resource Center (“the RC”) is run by Mace McDonald (they/them) and a team of student workers and operates under the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The Resource Center coordinates campus-wide programs every semester to enhance the community’s understanding and appreciation of LGBTQIA+ people, topics, and needs. We encourage students to utilize the RC as a social or study space during open hours. Student organizations can also work with RC staff to gain access for meetings and events.



We are only our best
Students gather on the patio outside the LGBTQ+ Resource Center

When we all thrive

  • Academic Offerings

    The HWS curriculum is designed to give you the flexibility to pursue your passions and interests while also gaining a robust foundation essential for helping you prepare for the future.

  • All Gender Restrooms

    Many locations across campus, including residence halls, offer gender inclusive bathrooms.

  • Gender Inclusive Housing

    Part of attending a residential college is living on campus with other students and encountering new experiences. Gender inclusive housing provides a living environment that is not limitied by the traditional gender binary.

  • Health and Wellness

    Find on and off-campus options for all of your health and wellness needs.

  • SafeZone Training

    The LGBTQ+ Resource Center provides SafeZone training for students, staff, faculty, and the Geneva community. The training helps participants create inclusive and safe spaces for discussions around sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently, all student leaders at HWS are required to participate in Safe Zone training. Any group in the HWS community can request training.

  • LGBTQ+ Student Organizations

    Join Pride Alliance or Trans Empowerment Coalition or start a club of your own.

  • Name, Gender and Pronouns

    Here, you have the freedom to choose your name, gender and pronouns, regardless of legal status, provided that your choice is not for the purpose of misrepresentation.

  • Additional Campus Resources

    Learn more about the programs and policies on campus that create an environment of support.

  • Off-Campus Resources

    Browse our compilation of local and remote resources for LGBTQIA+ students.

  • Crisis

    Resources for times of crisis.

Lavender graduation

Students gather for a photo at the 2023 Lavender Graduation.


Lavender Graduation is held annually to celebrate the achievements of graduates in the LGBTQQIA+ community. Sponsored by the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, the Lavender Graduation ceremony includes a presentation featuring a keynote speaker. An excerpt from 2023 keynote speaker Hugh Ryan was featured in a Slate article.