Hobart and William Smith Colleges


September 21 - 26, 2020

All you need to participate in Homecoming and Family Week is a computer or mobile device connected to the internet. We also encourage you to install Zoom and use a device with a webcam, as it will bring that personalized touch to the events!

If you have questions, contact the Office of Parent Programs or Alumni and Alumnae Relations.

All Week

All Week!

HWS Spirited Photo Contest for Students and Families

Take out your sweatshirts. Grab those T-shirts. Wear your Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ gear with pride – and take a picture. Be creative and have fun. We’ll be watching.

Instagram #hwsspirit


Monday, Sept. 21

5:30-6:30 p.m.

Pathways to Success for Your Student with the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education

Led by Director of Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education, Brandi Ferrara.

Open to families of all students. Learn more about how Career Services supports your students during their four years through the Pathways program. We’ll discuss programming, services, and opportunities that your students can take advantage of.

Register here

7-7:30 p.m.

Virtually Recruiting Future Hobart and William Smith Students

Alums and families with high school juniors or seniors are invited to join Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions, John Young, to learn more about Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the college search during the pandemic.

Register here

Tuesday, Sept. 22

5:30-6:30 p.m.

Academic Update from the Deans’ Offices

Please join this webinar to hear from Hobart Assistant Dean Joseph Mink and William Smith Assistant Dean Kelly Payne and take the opportunity to ask questions.

Register here

7-8:30 p.m.

From Coxe Hall to a New York Times Book Review – Author Carrie Lenarcic Firestone ’92

Join Carrie Lenarcic Firestone ’92 as she discusses the inspiration for her latest novel Dress Coded, the creative process and her path to writing that began at HWS.

Firestone is the author of the acclaimed young adult novels The Loose Ends List and The Unlikelies. Her new middle grade novel Dress Coded tells the story of an eighth grader who starts a podcast to protest the unfair dress code enforcement at her middle school and sparks rebellion, while also dealing with changing friendships and her older brother’s vaping addiction. Click here to read her New York Times Book Review from August.

“I can trace back so many of my career and personal decisions to people and events from college,” says Firestone, who majored in English and anthropology. “So many of my English professors were instrumental in teaching me about craft, but my anthropology professors taught me to observe patterns in human communities. Those classes helped me with the art of storytelling.”

Following her talk, Firestone will also host a 30-minute “ask me anything about writing and publishing” discussion for aspiring or current writers.

Register here

7 p.m.

Screening and Discussion of "John Lewis: Good Trouble"

Screening and Discussion of "John Lewis: Good Trouble," followed by a panel discussion featuring HWS President Joyce P. Jacobsen, HWS President Emeritus Mark D. Gearan, HWS Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Khuram Hussain, Geneva activist Theresa Johnson and NAACP member Sidney Moore.

Link for screening
Enter the code HWSJLGT2020 to screen for free

Zoom panel link
Meeting ID: 928 3348 1540
Passcode: 767874

Wednesday, Sept. 23

11 a.m.-noon

What Does Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Have to Do With Me?

Led by Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Associate Professor of Education Khuram Hussain.

Join us for an interactive exploration of the work and priorities of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We’ll explore how we can all be a part of inclusive community building at HWS and learn more about the DEI team, which includes the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, the Posse Scholars Program, the Higher Education Opportunity Program, the Office of Intercultural Affairs, International Student Enrollment and Success and the First Generation Initiative.

Please feel free to review the HWS Strategic Diversity Plan ahead of our session here.

Register here

7-8 p.m.

Leveraging the HWS Career Network

Led by Director of Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education Brandi Ferrara.

This session is targeted towards alums, but open to all. Networking is an important part of the job search process, especially in a more challenging job market. Learn about the new HWS Career Network, powered by PeopleGrove, as well as how to make the most of LinkedIn. We’ll talk about how to prepare a professional profile, outreach, staying connected.

Register here

Thursday, Sept. 24

11 a.m.-noon

Baseball: America’s Home Run - Inside the Smithsonian Exhibition with Stephen Wong '89

Join Stephen Wong ’89, a life-long collector and one of the world’s foremost authorities on baseball history and its artifacts, as he discusses the upcoming landmark exhibition at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum on the history of baseball, “Baseball: America’s Home Run.” As Wong explained in the Spring 2020 issue of The Pulteney Street Survey, “There hasn’t been an exhibition of this magnitude ever ... to work with the Smithsonian and the special people there, and lend items from my collection — this is the absolute pinnacle for me.” Wong has also authored two books: Smithsonian Baseball: Inside the World’s Finest Private Collections (2005) and Game Worn: Baseball Treasures from the Game’s Greatest Heroes and Moments (2016).

Wong is featured in a webinar with the Director of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum Elliot Gruber and Chief Curator Daniel Piazza in anticipation of the upcoming exhibition. Watch the complete webinar here or jump to the segment with Wong at the 5:35 mark.

Associate Professor of Theatre and baseball scholar Christopher Hatch will join in to moderate the discussion.

Whether you root for the Yankees or the Dodgers, baseball enthusiasts will have the opportunity to ask questions and reflect on Wong’s exhibition.

Register here

7-8 p.m.

What do a Mini-Neptune, a Venus-Zone Planet and Perkin Observatory have in common? Associate Professor of Physics Leslie Hebb of course!

If you can’t take a peek through the lens of Perkin Observatory on campus, then we can bring the discoveries made at HWS and by HWS students to you. Join Professor Hebb, Hobart physics and mathematics alum Christopher Wilson ’16 who is pursuing his Ph.D. at Cornell University, and Physics and Geoscience major Max Jackson ’21 in a discussion about their current astronomy research. Hebb’s recent observations made with the Perkin Observatory helped confirm the existence of a new extra-solar planet in the two-planet system, TOI-1266. The planet is a mini-Neptune planet orbiting once every 11 days around a cool, red star.

A member of the HWS Department of Physics since 2013, Hebb’s research includes discovering and characterizing planets around other stars, measuring fundamental properties of low mass stars, and understanding magnetic activity on stars other than the sun. Wilson’s research at Cornell focuses on using simulations of large scale structure formation to constrain different models of gravity, particularly cosmic voids or areas of the universe with a total lack of structure. Jackson is learning data science skills while investigating the properties of star spots on other suns.

The panel will offer Q & A time for budding physicists, astronomy buffs and the earnest scientist.

Register here

Friday, Sept. 25

9-10 a.m.

PLEN breakfast Webinar

The PLEN breakfast webinar will feature three William Smith alumnae—Maeve Kline '19, Jessica Lathrop '18, Sarah Walters '19—who will discuss their lives since graduation and their experience as students leaders of PLEN while they were at the Colleges.

The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) is a national organization that encourages and prepares young women to become political leaders by hosting academic seminars in Washington, D.C. William Smith College is a member of PLEN (since 2011) and is led by Dean Lisa Kaenzig. This organization aims to increase the number of women in top leadership positions by exposing college women to role models and skills training needed before entering the workforce in public policy careers. William Smith has a PLEN Chapter that hosts biweekly meetings and other leadership events. For more information, please contact plen@hws.edu.

Register here

6:30-7:30 p.m.

Shabbat Together

Join HWS Hillel and the Abbe Center for Jewish Life for “Shabbat Together,” our weekly Zoom gathering to reconnect as a community, share in Shabbat blessings and rituals, and enjoy “A Taste of Torah.”  All families and alums are welcome.  If you’d like, you can have your candles, wine or grape juice, and challah on hand to join in the rituals with us.

To register, please email Shabbat@hws.edu with your student's name or HWS class year by Thursday, September 24 at 5 p.m. After your email is received, you will receive the Zoom link to join.

Saturday, Sept. 26

11 a.m.-noon

State of the Colleges

Families, alums and students are invited to join President Joyce P. Jacobsen and members of senior staff for an update on the Colleges.

Register here

5:30 p.m.

LIVE Student Entertainment

Join in on the fun from home with LIVE entertainment from our own students performing on the Scandling Campus Center Patio.

Join event here

spirit week

More Info


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