HWS Installs Portraits Of Former Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan

On Saturday, June 15, HWS hosted a reception to celebrate the installation of a photograph of President Emeritus Mark D. and Mary Herlihy Gearan L.H.D. ’17, P’21 in the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts, and of the official past President’s portrait in Coxe Hall. Nozomi Hilayama-Williams L.H.D. ’14 generously provided funding for the photograph.


Nozomi Hilayama-Williams with Mary & Mark.

The joint photograph of the Gearans was taken by Louis Fabian Bachrach, a fourth generation photographer whose portraits have included President Ronald Reagan, President George H.W. Bush, Senator Edward Kennedy, Coretta Scott King, Bill Gates and Julia Child. Bachrach’s grandfather David, who had served as an assistant photographer during the Civil War for Harper’s Weekly, opened his first studio in 1868 in Baltimore. David’s son expanded the business, opening 48 studios across the country by 1929, followed by his sons and now by his grandson. The younger Bachrach began working in the business in 1964. In 1996, he left his position as chair of the board of Bachrach Inc. and went into business for himself.

The Presidential portrait was painted by Daniel E. Greene, whose works hang in the United States Capitol, the Smithsonian Institution and New York City Hall, as well as state and federal buildings, corporate headquarters, museums, colleges and universities around the nation. His clients include senators, governors, judges, congressional representatives, and leaders in the military, arts, business and higher education. In the portrait, beside Gearan is a copy of the Finger Lakes Times as symbol of his commitment to Geneva. Behind him is the Peace Corps flag.

The Gearans returned to campus for the portrait unveiling and reception, which included remarks by Interim President Patrick A. McGuire L.H.D. ’12, Professor of Dance Cynthia Williams P’20, former Chair of the Board of Trustees Maureen Collins Zupan ’72, P’09, L.H.D. ’16 and Hilayama-Williams.

The longest serving president in the history of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Gearan concluded his duties as president at the end of the 2016-17 academic year and now serves as Director of the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School. At the time of his appointment in 1999, Gearan was one of the youngest college presidents in the nation previously serving as Director of the Peace Corps and, during the Clinton Administration, Assistant to the President, Director of Communications and Deputy Chief of Staff. When he concluded his presidency in 2017, he had served for 18 years, leading the Colleges through a period of unprecedented growth. In recognition of his service, the HWS Board of Trustees awarded Gearan an honorary degree and named him President Emeritus of the Colleges, the first time in HWS history that the board has bestowed the honor. Herlihy Gearan was awarded an honorary degree in recognition of her significant service to the HWS and Geneva community.

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  • Well deserved, in my opinion. I had the opportunity to meet Mark Gearan during his PC days, and remember him as a keen listener, and thoughtful person. The fact that he had NOT previously served as a PC Volunteer was raised at the time, but I think it proved totally irrelevant. Thanks, Mark. We’ve missed you. John Turnbull Ghana-3 Geology and Nyasaland/Malawi-2 Geology Assignment. 1963, -64, -65

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