by Jessica Evangelista Balduzzi ’05
“I can’t walk 10 steps on campus without feeling the weight of history around me,” says Andrew Oliveira ’13, sitting on his bed in his Chi Phi fraternity room. Oliveira has filled his room with what he calls “old Hobart treasures” culled from local antiques shops and eBay. They include a large collection of Hobart postcards, a Hobart commencement program from 1852, a small library of yearbooks dating to the early 20th century, a 1940’s Hobart Glee Club pin, an old Hobart song book, and a variety of other artifacts and documents.
“Whether it’s browsing the pages of old year books or reading the post cards of students from either century, these relics help me understand what it is that I’m a part of,” says Oliveira, an architecture and English double major. “By collecting and unearthing pieces of the Colleges’ heritage, I’ve come to understand and appreciate today’s Hobart and William Smith.”
“In my first year seminar titled “Going Home,” Professor of Religious Studies Richard Salter ’86, P’15 told us that you have to give a part of yourself to a place in order to call it home,” says Oliveira. “It’s a sentiment that I’ve kept in the back of my head here every day at HWS.” As co-head of the Hobartones a capella group, member of the Chimera Honor Society, student editor of the H Book and former student government president, Oliveira has helped HWS stay true to its roots while shaping his own future. “My involvement on campus has been incredibly enriching and has opened doors to new opportunities.”
As Oliveira reflects on his time at the Colleges, it’s the countless intangible moments that have defined his experience. “It’s the things that happen in between the lines that begin to color the personality of my time here in Geneva: developing close friendships, late nights rehearsing with the Hobartones in St. John’s Chapel, the rewarding feeling of leaving a class you love to attend, warm fall afternoons sailing out across the lake, sitting up front to listen to Professor of History Clifton Hood lecture, watching the sun set over campus from the top of St. Mark’s Tower, talking with Hobart Associate Dean Chip Capraro about everything from music to history over a long lunch in the faculty dining room,” he says. “There are few individual instances that defined my career, instead a collection of memories and experiences that have shaped my time here.”
Oliveira hopes that during the final months of his time on campus, he can reenergize the H Book. “If there’s any sentiment I want to leave behind on campus it is that we are all a part of what came before us, but also a part of the living history that we create every day for the Colleges and for ourselves,” he says. “It’s important to preserve and curate our history and culture; it is after all what makes us who we are.”