9 May 2023 With Genuine Welcome and Deep Care, Newly Dedicated Adams Intercultural Center Opens

The HWS community gathered for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated and expanded Adams Intercultural Center.

In April, generations of alums returned to campus, joining students, faculty, staff and Geneva neighbors to celebrate and tour the newly renovated and expanded Adams Intercultural Center (AIC), named in honor of the Rev. Alger Adams ’32, D.D. ’83, Hobart College’s first Black graduate.

Thanks to a leadership gift from Board Chair Craig R. Stine ’81, P’17 and Kathy Hay Stine P’17, the AIC includes social spaces, offices, a computer lab, and multipurpose room for students, faculty, staff and community members to gather in dialogue. The renovation and expansion of the AIC was also made possible through the generous support of George I. Alden Trust, Fred L. Emerson Foundation, ESL Charitable Foundation and Empire State Development.

ribbon cutting ceremony

Associate Director of HEOP/AOP Edith Wormley, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Bill Woodson, Talladega College President Gregory J. Vincent ’83, President Mark D. Gearan, Patricia Adams L.H.D.’23, Board Chair Craig R. Stine ’81, P’17, Gabriela Martinez ’22, MAT ’23, Chaplain Rev. Nita Byrd, Director of the Adams Intercultural Center Alejandra Molina, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students at New York University Rafael Rodriguez ’07 and Director of Academic Opportunity Programs Renee Grant.

During the dedication ceremony, Stine reflected on the goals he identified when he began his term as board chair. “At the top of the list,” he said, “is the creation of a campus culture of belonging. It is my belief that the better future we seek will be created in spaces like this one.”

Described by many alums and students as a home away from home, the AIC symbolizes “the fireplace of our campus, around which we all gather,” said President Mark D. Gearan. During the dedication, he shared his appreciation for the project and the opportunities it provides for students to experience a relationship-rich education.

The AIC expansion includes the addition of the Stine Multipurpose Room, which provides space for large groups to gather for forums and dialogues. With gratitude for their philanthropy, the AIC living room has been named in honor of Gregory J. Vincent ’83, President of Talladega College and past president of HWS, and the office suite in honor of Rafael Rodriguez ’07, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students at New York University.

During the ceremony, Alger Adams’ daughter Patricia reflected on her father’s accomplished life, including his skill as a painter. She shared how important it was to her father, and to herself, to find a place of lasting display for his artwork. To that end, Patricia announced that several of his pieces would be housed in the AIC in perpetuity, alongside works by Faith Bey ’21, Rosemary Colon-Martinez ’21 and Jenny Wu ’12. Patricia also donated her father’s Phi Beta Kappa pin, which she remembers him proudly wearing and displaying throughout his life.

Patricia imagined what her father would say if he were at the historic event. “Today’s dedication is indeed an honor. It is also a beacon. This dedication is about the future, looking forward, and building on existing good work,” she shared. 

Additional remarks were given by Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Bill Woodson, Director of the Adams Intercultural Center Alejandra Molina and Chaplain Rev. Nita Byrd.

Gabriela Martinez ’22, MAT ’23 spoke on behalf of students, sharing her favorite memories of the building, including attending Sister Circle with Associate Director of the Counseling Center Tasha Prosper, a regular meeting for women of color to talk about issues on campus and in the world, and her journey to becoming the co-president of Sankofa, the Black Student Union.

“As nearly everyone today has said, this building is a home away from home, and it became that for me, too,” she said. “And as stunning as this space is today, it’s really the people who are here – Renee Grant (Director of Academic Opportunity Programs), Molina and Edith Wormley (Associate Director of HEOP/AOP)– who make it so warm and inviting.”