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HWS says City Year co-founder Alan Khazei will speak at commencement ceremony

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  • Staff Report 

Alan Khazei, co-founder of City Year and a leading national service advocate, is set to deliver the speech at the 2023 Commencement ceremony of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. His extensive work in engaging young people in public service and creating opportunities for citizens to contribute to various social causes has earned him high praise from HWS President Mark D. Gearan.


The Commencement, scheduled for 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 21, will also see four community members receiving honorary degrees. Patricia Adams, Dr. Gilberto Arbelaez ’06, Kevin Colton, and Cynthia Gelsthorpe Fish ’82 are being honored for their unique talents, experiences, and perspectives, as well as their commitment to service.


Alan Khazei has dedicated over 30 years to national service and social entrepreneurship, co-founding City Year, which places young people in communities to mentor, tutor, and educate children. City Year later became the model for President Bill Clinton’s AmeriCorps program. Khazei has also founded and led Be The Change, Inc., which developed national campaigns to affect public policy and culture.

The four honorary degree recipients reflect the diverse engagement of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the spirit of service that defines their community. They serve as role models for engaged citizens and inspire the graduates to lead lives of consequence.