PAUL SMITHS - Philanthropist Joan H. Weill will deliver the Paul Smith's College commencement address at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 5.
Weill served on the college's board of trustees from 1992 until 2011, and was chairman of the board from 2005 to 2010. She remains an emeritus trustee of Paul Smith's.
The two campus buildings that bear her name, the Joan Weill Student Center and Joan Weill Adirondack Library, are hubs of campus life. Her tenure on the board was marked by other significant changes as well: Paul Smith's began offering bachelor's degrees during that period, residence halls were added, and labs and classrooms were significantly upgraded.
"Joan has long been one of our staunchest, not to mention most generous, supporters," college President Dr. John W. Mills said in a press release. "Joan's commitment to us - and all of her charitable interests - has been unstinting, and the effect on Paul Smith's has been transformational. I'm pleased that our graduates can hear from somebody who truly gives back, and I hope they carry that message with them as they move on from Paul Smith's."
In 2009, Weill and her husband, Sanford, were awarded the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy to recognize their work in that arena. Additionally, she is chair of the board of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Foundation; co-chair of the advisory committee of the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall; co-chair of the New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center's Women's Health Symposium; and honorary board member and president emeritus of Citymeals-on-Wheels.
Approximately 250 students are expected to be members of the Class of 2012, the 65th graduating class at Paul Smith's. The first class at Paul Smith's graduated in 1948.