October 27, 2017
Editor in Chief
Gregory Vincent ’83 was inaugurated as the President of Hobart and William and Smith Colleges. The ceremony at Trinity Episcopal Church in Geneva, NY marked the official installation of President Vincent who has been serving in this role since the summer. While this inauguration was the official start of President Vincent’s term, it is merely ceremonial for a President who has already served for almost a quarter of a year and shaken up several pieces of the administrative structure, notably the restructuring of the Office of the Provost.
The ceremony was notably held off campus in the Trinity Episcopal Church, a move that greatly limited student attendance in favor of faculty, staff and alumni who were offer the opportunity to receive tickets to the church. The decision to hold the ceremony in Trinity honored the history of Hobart College as an Episcopalian institution, and recognize Trinity Episcopal Church in New York City, for which this Trinity is named, as the former diocese of Bishop Henry Hobart.
An air of excitement filled the church for the future of the Colleges and Vincent’s term as Chair of the Board of Trustees Tom Bozzuto ‘68 and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees Cynthia Gelsthorpe Fish ‘82 presented Vincent the Charter and Seals of the Colleges initiating his term. Student Trustee Tyler Fuller ’18 echoed the sentiment of many in the room in a brief interview stating: “I am excited for [Vincent’s presidency]. We are in for some exciting times as the Colleges ascend with Vincent.” Fuller also noted that “there is potential for big changes, and the student body seems excited and ready for it. Change is something we need.”
Gregory Vincent is the first president of the Colleges who graduated from either since Walter H. Durfee’s (1908) short term from 1947 to 1948. As an alumnus, Vincent and his inaugural ceremony celebrated the tradition of diversity and inclusion at Hobart and William Smith, and pledged to refocus the strategic plan for the institution on promoting diversity and inclusion.
Vincent’s alumni status was highlighted through the heartfelt introduction by his former professor and former Dean of Hobart College Clarence Butler who bowed to his former student as he welcomed Vincent to the stage.
In his inaugural address President Vincent dedicated his term to four initial pillars of effort: (1) “ensure that the student experience is fascinating, relevant, and comprehensive.” (2) “Deepen engagement within and among key constituent groups ensuring that all members of the broad Hobart and William Smith community” (3) “Be market smart and mission driven allowing us to dominate the liberal arts market.” (4) “Make inclusive excellence and diversity as a key strategic goal.”