Friday, February 1, 2008

Road trip to Hobart and William Smith Colleges

On Monday this week I traveled with Alan, our Executive Director, to Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS) in Geneva, New York. Right next to Seneca Lake, it’s a beautiful campus and a great place to get an education.

Alan’s visit and speech Monday night was sponsored by HWS’s Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning. First-year student John Monaghan, who has contributed to this blog, was the driving force behind making it all happen.

While Alan talked a lot about LGBT issues and what it means day-to-day to not have rights and responsibilities that New York gives to everyone else, his focus was just as much about how age and experience (not having it that is) should never be seen as a barrier to making a real difference on an issue a person really cares about. Alan himself is not too many years removed from the ages of HWS students so a big part of HWS having Alan there was to have a real life example on campus of someone they can easily relate to who can talk about the nuts and bolts of what it really means to “make change happen.”

This, plus next week’s Presidential Primary and the excitement everyone was feeling about the national focus on their generation and the role they’re playing in the elections, made for a great discussion.

Before the event, HWS President Mark Gearan and his wife Mary opened up their home to a smaller group of students, faculty, alumni and parents for a dinner and informal Q&A session between students and Alan.

Our thanks go to John Monaghan, President Gearan and Katie Flowers, the associate director of HWS’s Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning, for having us on campus.

Go here to read the piece the Colleges posted on Alan’s talk.

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