Taking Note

In recent months, Hobart and William Smith has received important notices in academic accreditation reviews, student surveys and various guides to help prospective students and their families find the right ‘fit’ for their college choice. While there is certainly a valid debate on guides and various rankings and their ability to assess actual outcomes of an education, I thought you might be interested in what others are saying about today’s Hobart and William Smith.

  • The Princeton Review and Campus Compact recently announced they will be publishing a new guide in June of 2005 entitled "Colleges with a Conscience." The book will include profiles of 81 colleges, nation-wide, with strong community service ethics and effective service learning and civic engagement programs. Written as an "engaged students' guide to college," this latest guidebook will highlight Hobart and William Smith - the only liberal arts institution in New York state.
  • For the fourth year in a row, HWS continues to move in the national rankings in the U.S. News and World Report. In the 2005 edition's "Best Liberal Arts Colleges" category, Hobart and William Smith ranks among the top 70 colleges in America.
  • The Fiske Guide to Colleges states, "The best thing about HWS is the family like atmosphere between the faculty and students," and lauds the curriculum, high standards expressed by the faculty and the hands-on approach of the education program, among other things.
  • The Princeton Review's "Top 357 Colleges" gives HWS an impressive four star rating in academics, selectivity and financial aid.
  • High marks are also given HWS in the Unofficial, Unbiased Guide to the 328 Most Interesting Colleges published by Kaplan. This guide noted the Colleges emphasis on "a true liberal arts education with a purpose."
  • HWS also earned a spot in another Princeton Review guide, titled "Top 151 Colleges in the Northeast."
  • Two of the top magazines for young women have taken note of the Colleges. Seventeen magazine ranked HWS in its "Superhot Small Liberal Arts Schools" category. CosmoGirl! listed HWS among the top 50 colleges for girls noting the small classes, prominent women faculty, strong women's sports, internship and leadership opportunities. Other schools on the list include Amherst, Bates, Brown, Carleton, Duke, Kenyon, Pomona, UNC Chapel Hill and Washington University.

While guides offer prospective students a glimpse of the richness of the HWS experience, I was especially pleased that a distinguished visiting committee of academics representing the Middle States Accreditation Team found, that Hobart and William Smith’s "… institutional strength is reflected in the Colleges' sound, principled practices and respect for individuals. … Through its curriculum, programs, and co-curricular activities, HWS exemplify an environment of justice, equity, respect for diversity, and human dignity. Prime illustrations include the focus on global education, service learning, volunteerism, and community service."

For those of us on campus — students, faculty and staff — and those alums and parents who are part of our community, all of this isn't news. Yet it is affirming that our academic peers found great value in the quality of our education and a series of independent observers point to HWS as one of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation.

It is no coincidence that such an institution would graduate men and women with a broad background who go out and make a difference in this world. This Survey highlights several graduates who have left Geneva and built lives of consequence and meaning. Reyn Levy's important work at the International Rescue Committee and now at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts was recognized by the Hobart Alumni Association and detailed on page 2. MP Nunan graduated from William Smith in 1991 and has brought the world back to the United States with her writing and journalistic endeavors. And Steven Gale '69 has dedicated his career to international development and now provides counsel at the highest level of our government.

All of these alums bring great credit to the Colleges and we celebrate their commitment and service.

Mark D. Gearan

Mark D. Gearan



Taking Note

Lakeviews Column
Spring 2005 Pulteney St. Survey



Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.