President Drugovich with new graduate at Commencement

Hartwick 2018 Commencement Events Planned for May 17-19

May 7, 2018

On Saturday, May 19, Hartwick College will celebrate the Class of 2018 during its 87th Commencement exercise. Faculty, staff, family, and friends will gather at 11:30 a.m. on Elmore Field to recognize graduates’ accomplishments throughout their time spent at the College.

“On behalf of the Hartwick Community, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to the Class of 2018 and their families,” said Commencement Coordinator and Associate Director of Campus Activities Paul Habernig. “Commencement is an exciting time for all in attendance, and we look forward to celebrating our students’ accomplishments. I am extremely honored and thankful to everyone who has helped in making this day special for our graduates, families and guests.”

The weekend-long celebration will begin with the President’s Farewell Dinner with the senior class on Thursday evening, followed by the Nurses Pinning Ceremony and Senior Art Exhibition Reception on Friday. The Nurses Pinning Ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. in Lambros Arena, Binder Physical Education Center, and the Senior Art Reception will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the Foreman Gallery in the Anderson Center for the Arts.

In lieu of the traditional Baccalaureate Celebration, this year seniors can enjoy a new event, Senior Send Off, set for 3 p.m. on Founders’ Way. The event is designed to be a final mixer between seniors, faculty, and staff.

On Saturday, May 19, this year’s 284 degree candidates will undertake the transition from Hartwick students to Hartwick alumni during the College’s 87th Commencement.

Hartwick College’s 2018 Commencement speaker will be renowned “reinvention” expert Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva ’01. Zhexembayeva graduated from Hartwick with a double major in business and psychology – becoming a JCH Scholar along the way – and earned her PhD in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University. She is the Co-founder and Chief Reinvention Officer of WE EXIST Reinvention Agency. An international speaker, TEDx presenter, educator, and author, she has helped nearly 5,000 executives from 60 countries and 20 industries develop themselves and their businesses.

She served as the Coca-Cola Chaired Professor of Sustainable Development at IEDC-Bled School of Management, an executive education center based in the Slovene Alps, where she continues to teach courses in leadership, strategy, change management, design thinking, and sustainability. In addition to IEDC, Nadya has taught in other business schools, including Case Western Reserve, CEDEP-INSEAD (France), and IPADE Business School (Mexico).

Also at the ceremony, former Trustees Virginia (Ginny) Elwell ’77 and Robert S. (Bob) Hanft ’69, PM’06 will both be presented with honorary doctor of laws degrees at this year’s Commencement ceremony.

Elwell earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Hartwick in 1977, and was named a John Christopher Hartwick Scholar during her senior year. Since graduating, she has been a tireless champion of her alma mater, serving in multiple volunteer roles over the years, culminating in her election to the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees. In 2015, the Hartwick College Alumni Association presented Elwell with the Meritorious Service Award for outstanding loyalty and service to the College.

Along with her dedication of time and energy to the College, Elwell’s financial support has been unwavering. For 41 consecutive years, she has helped ensure Hartwick students have had access to an array of opportunities by providing for endowed scholarships and annual operating expenditures.

Hanft earning his bachelor’s degree in economics from Hartwick in 1969.

Over the years, Hanft has provided generous financial support to the College, complemented by his commitment of time and expertise in the development of institutional strategy. He served two full terms as a Hartwick College Board of Trustees member, with a total of 18 years of Trustee service. During this time, he served as board chair for six years, as well as vice chair and treasurer. With Board service spanning three college presidencies, Hanft led the Board’s search for a new president in 2003.

Further, Hanft founded a scholarship with his wife, Patricia R. Hanft ’72, to provide financial support for students to participate in internships. The College awarded him the President’s Medal in 2006.

Linda Reckhow Thomson ’72, Ph.D., M.S.N., will be awarded the President’s Award for Liberal Arts in Practice. This award is presented to an alumna or alumnus of the College who extends the values that are inherent in a Hartwick education into their life work, to the benefit of others.

A 1972 Hartwick graduate, Thomson was honored as a John Christopher Hartwick Scholar, and earned the New York State Outstanding Student Nurse Award during her time at here. A nurse practitioner and approved consultant in clinical hypnosis, Thomson is co-founder of Hypnovations: Clinical Hypnosis Education and Training Programs; a leader in professional organizations; and a diplomate of both the American Board of Medical Hypnosis and the American Board of Hypnosis in Nursing. Hartwick has honored her groundbreaking work with the Outstanding Young Alumna Award, the Meritorious Service Award, and the Distinguished Nursing Alumna Award.

Also at the ceremony, the winner of the Kellogg Oratorical Prize will also be announced. The three finalists are Aslyn Avila ’18, Alexzandrea Richards ’18, and Stephanie Sacco ’18.

Guests and family members who are not able to be on campus to celebrate with students can view the ceremony via Hartwick’s YouTube Channel.

Additional Commencement weekend details can be found on the Hartwick College Commencement website. For additional information, contact Habernig at 607-431-4501, or