Good afternoon. I am thrilled to be able to speak today at the official opening of the Salisbury Center, in part because I am honored to be a part of this beautiful building’s renovation but also because the three offices now housed in this building have been an integral part of my education here at Hobart and William Smith. It’s very exciting for me as a student to see all of these offices finally housed in one prominent, accessible and attractive location.
Through my experiences with Career Services, Global Education, and the Office of Public Service I have been able to put what I’ve learned in the classroom into practice. I’ve been able to go live, learn and work in Boston, I’ve gone to Europe for a semester, and I’ve served both the Colleges community and the Geneva community at large through the Office of Public Service.
During the spring of my sophomore year I participated in the Boston Internship Program, which is coordinated through the Career Services Office. While in Boston, I had the chance to work for an organization called Citizens Energy, which introduced me to the world of nonprofit management. As a Public Policy major, I was able to see what role nonprofits play in providing services to people in need.
I have always been interested in Women’s issues, but last fall I was able to broaden my scope (educationally and culturally) by traveling to Denmark where I studied Danish early childhood practices and the Danish school system. I also had the chance to work with young Danish children in a local Copenhagen preschool, which was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever done.
The Public Service Office has been a constant variable throughout my four years here at HWS. Not only have I worked in the office for four years, but I have participated in a number of programs sponsored by the Office, including American Reads and Jumpstart.
One of the best things about the Salisbury Center is the increased visibility of Career Services, Global Education, and the Public Service Office. Speaking from my own personal experience, working in the basement of Smith Hall was cozy, to say the least, but these offices now have the visibility and prominence that they rightly deserve. It is obvious from the moment you step in to the Salisbury Center that HWS is committed to helping students blaze career paths, learn about and interact with new places and cultures, and serve the communities in which we live. I would like to thank Mr. Salisbury for his foresight and vision, because these three offices truly represent what it means to be a liberal arts school. The Salisbury Center embodies the vast array of opportunities and experiences available to the students of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
My experiences in Boston, Denmark, and the Public Service Office have had a profound impact on my personal, educational, and professional development. I recently learned that I have been accepted as a Pearson Teaching Fellow, which is a program designed to place highly trained and educated preschool teachers into low income preschool centers. This job reflects the opportunities and experiences that I have been able to take part of here at HWS. I am beginning to feel as though everything has come full circle: I am working with a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the needs of low income families and their children. The Salisbury Center will undoubtedly help future students put their education into action.
I’d like to thank the Salisbury family again for this gorgeous new Center and for their continued dedication to Hobart and William Smith Colleges. I’d also like to thank the trustees and President Gearan for their guidance and leadership. You only have to look around campus to see all of the new projects and initiatives that are in the works. Campus has changed so much since I first set foot in Geneva four years ago, and I am proud and excited by the continued growth of the Colleges. Thank you.
Salisbury Center at Trinity Hall Dedication
April 24, 2004