Mark D. Gearan

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President Mark D. Gearan 's "appointment to Hobart and William Smith in 1999 made him one of the nation’s youngest college presidents. In the course of his tenure, he has reinforced the Colleges’ commitment to global understanding and study abroad opportunities, community service and service-learning, with the goal of providing these elements through contemporary facilities and state-of-the-art technology.

"When named president, Gearan was serving as director of the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C., a post he assumed in 1995. Under his leadership, the Peace Corps experienced a resurgence of interest. The Colleges also have progressed under his guidance.

"At the close of his first year on campus, President Gearan began the development of a five-year strategic planning initiative, HWS 2005. He was instrumental in the next phase, HWS 2010, and Campaign for the Colleges, the $160 million capital campaign now underway. These plans have been credited with greatly expanding the Colleges’ facilities for academic, athletic and residential life.

"In addition, President Gearan established the President’s Forum lecture series, which brings national and international speakers to campus. Recently, he added his voice to the airwaves as host of the President’s Radio Series, sponsored by the Current Affairs House (a student residence) and WEOS-FM, the campus radio station.

"On campus, President Gearan stays connected with students. He works alongside them during campus and community service projects, and as a member of the political science department, he is a frequent presence in the classroom as lecturer and instructor. In addition to regularly attending dinners at student residence halls and fraternities, he and his wife, Mary Herlihy Gearan, frequently host events in their home.

"President Gearan serves on the boards of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Points of Light Foundation, the Annapolis Group, the Corporation for National and Community Service and The Partnership of Public Service. Additionally, he served as chair of the National Campus Compact.

"Outside of the education and service arenas, President Gearan has been active on the advisory board of The Presidential Appointee Initiative, a project of the Brookings Institution that has worked to revamp the process through which U.S. Presidential appointees are chosen. He was named to the Board of Directors of the not-for-profit New Jobs for New York, designed to encourage economic development and spur job growth throughout New York State.

"Prior to his Peace Corps directorship, President Gearan served at the White House as Assistant to the President and Director of Communications, as well as Deputy Chief of Staff during the Clinton administration. During the 1992 presidential campaign, he was Al Gore’s campaign manager, segueing to the position of Deputy Director of President-elect Clinton’s transition team.

"A native of Gardner, Mass., President Gearan earned his B.A. in government cum laude at Harvard University and his law degree at Georgetown University. He is also the recipient of 12 honorary degrees.

"President Gearan resides on campus with his wife, Mary Herlihy Gearan, and their two daughters, Kathleen and Madeleine, who attend Geneva public schools." [1]

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  1. President's Page, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, accessed August 21, 2007.
  2. Advisory Council, National Peace Corps Association, accessed February 19, 2010.