In commemoration of the William Smith Centennial, a facility at 603 South Main Street was dedicated as an innovative space where HWS students could gain access to coursework, presentations, workshops and community projects that would deepen their understanding of leadership. Since its inception, the Centennial Center for Leadership (CCL) has been a symbol for activities that develop and ready leaders for future contributions of value, character and significance.
In 2007, the Center was renovated and endowed as part of an historic Campaign for the Colleges, including many gifts given, like the lead gift from Trustee Cynthia Gelsthorpe Fish '82, in honor of the William Smith Centennial.
"Since William Smith College began and Hobart and William Smith became coordinate Colleges, our alumni and alumnae have pioneered in everything from English to economics to history," said Fish during the building's dedication in November 2008. "Now, as we cut the ribbon on the Centennial Center, we will become leaders among leadership programs across the United States."
"This building speaks to us," Fish said. "Its message is clear: leadership is a value that will carry from this Centennial well into the next."
The Center continues to be home base for HWS Leads: Minds Wide Open, a unique leadership certification program that challenges HWS students to examine leadership in theory, to create leadership opportunities that foster a positive, social impact and to prepare themselves to assume leadership roles on campus and within the community.
Since its inaugural year, the Center has grown in programming as well as staff. In addition to the HWS Leads course, the Center organizes an annual conference for campus student leaders, invites noteworthy speakers to campus for a Leader in Residence series, continues to sponsors student projects with leadership fellowships and serve as a resource center with a lending book library, leadership self-assessments and more. Throughout the year, the Center is engaged in activities that develop leadership skills, explores theory, analyzes experiences as well as provides mentoring and experiential leadership challenges to HWS students.
Students as well as alumni, alumnae, campus and greater community members are invited to participate in programs offered by the Center and funding for fellowships and scholarships are available.
The Center continues to foster the Colleges' ability to recruit, recognize and retain high-achieving students and help those students become more competitive for national fellowships, graduate school admissions and professional opportunities. The leadership programming has distinguished its students as they search for jobs or graduate schools.
To learn more about the William Smith Centennial Celebration, including the dedication of the Centennial Center for Leadership, visit the Centennial Multimedia page.