By Spencer Pinque ’26
Staff Writer

Studies report that above 77 percent of organizations report a lack of traditional leadership, and now more than ever, efforts are put forth to find specialized employees that exude qualities of ethical, inclusive, and value-based leaders.  The Hobart & William Smith Centennial Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation is located at 603 South Main Street in Geneva, and serves as a campus hub for experiential learning for all students.  This school year, the return of the Centennial Center (following the pandemic) is met with changes, such as re-introducing old programs, and introducing new programs.  According to the Centennial Center website, these programs include HWS Leads, The Pitch, Summer Sandbox, IdeaLab, Student Launchpad, Cohen Fellowship, Centennial Scholars, National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps, Idea Generator, Hackathon, Knowledge Series, Leadership Case Competition. 

A photo of the Centennial Center, a gray brick house.
The Centennial Center. Courtesy HWS communications

I am an incoming Centennial Center Scholar, and I was pleasantly surprised to be given the offer to have a voice in the hiring process of new employees on my college campus.  In the final week of October, the HWS community welcomed two potential candidates for the Director of the Centennial Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation position.  During the interview process, the encouraged prompt was detailing how to set goals for the future of the Centennial Center, in addition to engaging reliable stockholders. Next year, it will be celebrating its 15th-year anniversary; the center is looking to make improvements when reaching the 20th anniversary. The search committee ultimately agreed that neither candidate was the right fit and decided on regrouping to search for a Director again in the Spring.  Currently, Susan Pliner will serve as the Interim Director, with Kayla Eberhardt as the Associate Director of the Centennial Center, and Ed Bizari as Entrepreneurial Fellow for the Centennial Center.  No matter the path the Centennial Center forges, a bright future is guaranteed due to the HWS community. 

Spencer Pinque

Spencer is a member of the class of 2026 and a contributor to the Herald.

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