Hartwick’s Pine Lake Campus Celebrates 40th Anniversary

July 13, 2011

Hartwick College's Pine Lake Campus celebrated the 40th Anniversary of its become a unique and central part of the College's focus on experiential learning this weekend, as staff, faculty, students and alumni gathered for a variety of events on Saturday, July 9.

The day started early with the dedication of a 20-acre parcel of land deeded to Hartwick by Pauline '40 and Herbert Hebbard in 1985. Their family has strong ties to Hartwick, as Pauline's sister Eleanor Gardner graduated in 1939, and Pauline in 1940. Her grandson and granddaughter in-law Seth '96 and Erin '97 Haight are both Hartwick alumni. The parcel, named The Herbert D. and Pauline P. Hebbard Forest Management Area is a beautiful forested grove of hemlocks surrounded by oak-hickory forests.

"The beauty of their gift was the ability of Hartwick students to enjoy this same use of the property while also providing an exceptional opportunity for our students to study and research effective woodlot management," Hartwick President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich noted.

Upon the sale of Pine Lake's Upper Tract to the state of New York, the Hebbard Forest Management Area became part of Robert V. Riddell State Park. Today, Hartwick students and faculty are collaborating with state agency personnel on in-depth long-term biological and ecological studies that will inform public lands management and planning in Robert V. Riddell State Park and other public lands throughout the state, noted Brian Hagenbuch, Director of the Pine Lake Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

After a reception honoring the Hebbard family, Drugovich joined a lively group of staff, faculty and alumni for a "Conversation with the President."

"I really like this place a lot," Drugovich said at the outset of the discussion. "Pine Lake is a real jewel and a real asset to the College."

In a wide-ranging conversation, Drugovich and the participants discussed both the past and future of Hartwick's Pine Lake Campus, noting the efforts of the President's Pine Lake Taskforce in defining the role of the unique facility and charting its future as a continued cornerstone of a Hartwick education. Highlighting the many academic uses for the idyllic space, Drugovich drew attention to Pine Lake's role as a unique site for interdisciplinary experiential education.

Also on tap was the dedication of the Charley Brooks '90 Stage. The centerpiece of Pine Lake's natural amphitheatre was filled with guests for the event, as Director of Donor Relations Alicia Fish '91 and Drugovich recalled Brooks' affection for the campus and the effect it had upon his life.

Like many students over the last 40 years, Brooks was drawn to the natural beauty and setting of Pine Lake, which helped him find his life's direction.

"Through the Pine Lake year, classes he chose and the Hartwick culture, Charley graduated with a sense of direction," Drugovich noted.  "This is a common story from Hartwick graduates. They arrive lacking a maturity and a direction. Through their relationships with their faculty, peers and staff, they discover their true passions and realize their ability to effect change. They are changed and in this process, they change us. Charley changed Hartwick for the better."

Throughout the remainder of the day, guests enjoyed all that Hartwick's Pine Lake Campus has to offer, including boating and swimming, guided tours of the facility, and Challenge Education field games. The gala affair concluded with a Brooks' Barbecue dinner and a bonfire, storytelling and live music around the campfire.

Like so many who came before them, those who attended the 40th Anniversary celebration at Hartwick's Pine Lake Campus were able to spend a day immersed in the best the natural world has to offer - communing with and learning from the natural world that surrounds them.

Additional Pine Lake 40th Anniversary events are planned for Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, September 30 through October 2.

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030