13 October 2023 • Service Giving Back: Fall 2023 Day of Service By Sandeep Tissaaratchy ’26

HWS students, faculty and staff will participate in a day of volunteerism, giving back to the Geneva community. They will be joined by alums in San Francisco who will work at a food pantry. 

Holly McCarty ’25 and Caroline Ruffner ’25, co-presidents of HWS’ Fall 2023 Day of Service, have put their hearts into making the 27th annual day of giving back to the local community a memorable one. On Saturday, Oct. 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., hundreds of HWS students, faculty and staff will kick off the Day of Service from the Quad with remarks from President Mark D. Gearan.

“It is really nice to give back to Geneva and the greater Finger Lakes that share their beautiful town with us while we are students here,” says McCarty. Sites this year include Geneva Public Gardens, Rose Hill Mansion, Geneva Public Library, Rural and Migrant Ministry and Liturgia Worker’s Education Center, Challenger Baseball Field, Seneca Falls Historical Society, EPIC Zone, Family Counseling Service of the Finger Lakes, Camp Whitman, and local churches and schools.

At these sites, rain or shine, volunteers will help with cleaning, raking, painting and maintenance. In addition, along the banks of the Cayuga Seneca Canal, 70 members of the HWS rowing teams will clean the shoreline while other students will join with the Geneva Rotary Club at the Finger Lakes Welcome Center to remove debris from Seneca Lake’s shore. If the rain holds off, Associate Professor of Physics Leslie Hebb will host a viewing party for the partial solar eclipse beginning at noon.

“The Day of Service is the HWS community’s way of thanking the greater Geneva community, and we are excited for the entire campus community to get involved,” says Ruffner.

For the second consecutive year, alums in the San Francisco Bay Area will join with HWS students in Geneva and volunteer at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. The effort this year is organized by Sarah Cummings '11, who lives in San Francisco and works in public sector strategy at Accenture.

In August, Washington Monthly named HWS among the top five U.S. liberal arts institutions for service. This is the seventh year in a row HWS has received the accolade. Their ratings consider U.S. colleges and universities contribution to the public good in three, equally weighted categories: social mobility, research, and community and national service.