By Paige Wilson ‘26
As Hobart College celebrated 200 years of existence and excellence this past October, a gala was hosted here at the Colleges to celebrate the birthday. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni were invited to attend the gala and spend the weekend enjoying additional activities and events to celebrate the bicentennial.
The school spared no expenses in the planning and coordination of the gala. They set up in the Bristol Field House, and while this concerned many about whether it would smell bad because it was in a gym, I can assure you no unpleasant odors were detected at the time of the event. The gala had guests enter the field house through a massive balloon arch that led to a purple carpet complete with places for guests to take pictures, be interviewed, and immerse themselves in visual display of the history and timeline of Hobart College. Going into the event, students had no expectations for what it would look like or how the school was going to be able to pull off such a grand formal event, but it seemed everybody was thoroughly impressed. The attention to detail in the decorations was spectacular, it truly looked and felt like a gala with everybody dressed up in their finest attire, not just another alumni event.
The event consisted of performances by different groups of students around campus, the Hobart Chorale started the evening off by singing the Hip Hobart song, they were followed by a traditional African dance performance by the Dance Department accompanied by faculty and staff on drums. There were then a multitude of speakers ranging from students, alumni and faculty members, they recounted the history of Hobart College including some untold stories about the school. The speakers really highlighted just how much success the Colleges have had and how this school has grown so much since foundation, specifically emphasizing how what has already happened was only ‘just the beginning’ and how there will be more growth and excellence to come.
The big announcement of the night given by Patricia Adams, daughter of Rev. Dr. Alger L. Adams ‘32, was the announcement of the schools decision to name the newly expanded Intercultural Center on campus after her father. Rev. Dr. Alger L. Adams was the first African American man to graduate from Hobart College, he earned his MBA then decided to enter the ministry and dedicate his time to his faith and the faith of others, eventually he was drawn to become a civil rights activist and purchased a newspaper company to help give African American communities a voice. His name will be remembered in the most fitting way possible by naming the Intercultural Affairs Center after him.
By far the best part of the night was when President Gearan took the stage with his infamous and recently reunited President’s Garage Band. The band composed of faculty and staff singing and playing some fan favorites like “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Sweet Caroline” that had the students on their feet immediately and storming the stage. Gearans ability to tickle the keys blew us all away, and it was a great moment to just feel the unity and pride the students and alumni had in the school.
The evening concluded with food and dancing late into the night, students fully taking advantage of the charcuterie table by stealing whole loaves of bread, and alumni reliving their glory days on the dance floor as the band seemed to favor the throwback songs. The gala was a success in providing the perfect atmosphere for us all to celebrate 200 years of excellence and promise of 200 more years of hope and excitement for what’s to come.