by Melissa Sue Sorrells ’05
Endowed scholarships provide a Hobart and William Smith education to talented students committed to academic achievement and personal success. This year, 11 endowed scholarships were awarded for the first time, some in honor of parents who made an HWS education possible, others in celebration of the William Smith Centennial. Whatever the motivation, such gifts have one thing in common—they are a permanent and personal way to support students as they craft their future.
We’ve highlighted three of these remarkable gifts, illustrating just a few of the many ways endowed scholarships make a difference on campus.
This fund assists first year students from Aurora or Batavia High Schools in western New York, where former Town of Aurora Supervisor William and Diane Green P’83, P’87 made their home and raised four sons. The scholarship was endowed as a 50th wedding anniversary gift to the couple from their sons, William ’83, Kevin, Matthew ’87 and Andrew. “My parents taught me that I had to be responsible for my actions, to take charge of my life and to always seek ways to help others,” says William Green ’83. “My education at Hobart reinforced and cemented the philosophy of individual accountability that helped me get to where I am today. It was a natural fit to honor my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary with this endowed scholarship at the Colleges.”
Though the scholarship was intended for one recipient per year, Aurora twins Sarah and Jessica Tarantino ’12 were selected as the first-ever Green Family Scholars in honor of their academic and athletic accomplishments as well as their commitment to their community, school and family. The twins graduated first and second in their high school class and lettered in basketball, lacrosse and soccer.
“We cannot say how grateful we are for the scholarship. Without the Greens’ support, we would have never been able to attend William Smith,” says Jessica. “We were recently able to meet the Greens, and it was a wonderful opportunity to get to know them. They shared stories about their time at Hobart, and made us look forward to our future at the Colleges even more.”
Established by Honorary Trustee Jane Shepard Ritter ’48 on the 100th anniversary of William Smith College, the Jane S. Ritter ’48 Endowed Centennial Scholarship Fund provides assistance to academically qualified William Smith students.
“I decided to endow this scholarship to highlight 100 years of William Smith College,” says Ritter. “It’s so important that William Smith founded this college for women specifically, and I am very glad to be a part of celebrating the Centennial. I hope all of the recipients will enjoy a great experience at William Smith.”
The first recipient, Brooke Jacob ’12, is already making the most of her HWS experience, learning about Buddhist mediation and American Sign Language and participating in Amnesty International and the International Student Organization.
“It has been an honor to be awarded this scholarship,” says Jacob, who plans to study Asian languages and cultures and education. “My parents are extremely proud, and it has been a really nice way to make me feel like I’m an important and special part of the HWS community.”
Awarded to an HWS student that has demonstrated excellence both in the classroom and in their local community, the Thomas C. Connor ’81 Scholarship celebrates and promotes civic engagement and leadership at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
“I put a big emphasis on leadership because I think that the best leaders are those who lead by example,” says Thomas C. Connor ’81, who founded the scholarship. “I wanted to reward those students who are passionate about what they do, are respected by the communities that they operate in, and have earned that respect through their actions.”
A dedicated musician and engaged citizen, Merrill Amos ’11 fits perfectly into the mold Connor envisioned. Despite a rigorous course load—she’s hoping to major in international relations and study in Rome—Amos stays active in the community through volunteer work and performing during campus events.
“This scholarship has enabled me to further my education by making more opportunities available to me at Hobart and William Smith,” she says. “Endowing a scholarship and allowing a student to fulfill his or her educational and personal goals is the greatest gift you can give.”