BOSTON -- News from Boston will surprise virtually no one in Geneva today.
Anyone who was acquainted with Mary Herlihy-Gearan, wife of Hobart and William Smith Colleges' President Emeritus Mark Gearan, has known how extensively she worked with undergraduate students making their way through the passage to adulthood.
It took Harvard University only two years to realize what that institution got when Mary Gearan returned to Boston.
Harvard recently awarded Mary Gearan with the John R. Marquand Award for Excellence in Advising and Support. In part, the award announcement said: "The nominations we received in your name indicated that you have demonstrated compassion and a strong desire to assist undergraduate students in many ways both within and outside of your roles as a Harvard affiliate. Furthermore, it is evident that you have inspired and advised many undergraduate students in ways that have positively shaped their experiences on many levels, and they, along with many others, have appreciated your efforts.''
Since moving from HWS, Mary and Mark, who heads the Institute of Politics at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, have continued the kind of work Genevans came to know over their 18 years at the colleges. In addition to the public roles, the Gearans assumed the role of interim faculty Deans of Winthrop House, one of the university's residential houses, that had experienced leadership issues. Mary Gearan was, evidently, the answer to those challenges.
While moving to Boston, the Gearans have remained in close touch with Geneva. Their daughter, Kathleen, is a student at William Smith Colleges. Mary Gearan also has kept in touch with the Geneva Rotary Club, having graced the recent "zoom" club meetings that have replaced the regular weekly gatherings at the Geneva Country Club.