Feb. 20, 2013

Shaping Lives of Purpose: Providing opportunities for students


Dick and Linda Hatheway know the impact opportunities at Geneseo have on students. They are supporting the Shaping Lives of Purpose campaign to support those efforts and support generous alumni who give to the geology department. /PHOTO BY KEITH WALTERS '11





Dick and Linda Hatheway came to Geneseo in 1968, when he joined college faculty in the Department of Geological Sciences. They found a welcoming and active community in the village and on campus, and made it their home.

For 26 years, she taught elementary school students. He taught and mentored students at Geneseo for 39 years, eventually serving as department chair for 21 years. Nowadays, Dick Hatheway serves the village as mayor — a position he's held since 1986, when he was also a professor.

They are still as active in the community and keenly remember how students grew during their time at the college, as students, as professionals and as individuals.
Geology faculty — and their families — have always been close with students, say the Hatheways, who hosted many a gathering at their home over the years. They have seen the impact participation in professional meetings and the biennial field trip to study and conduct research in remote areas of the world has on students. Faculty members were always looking for ways to defray costs and assist each student to engage in such opportunities, he says.

Linda Hatheway, too, worked with many student teachers from Geneseo over the years. Graduations were always more than a ceremony, she says. "It was really watching these young people set some goals and celebrate having a fulfilling life during their time at the college."

Throughout the years, and years later, the Hatheways hear from alumni. Their appreciation for Geneseo and their generosity to give back inspired the Hatheways to make a generous five-year commitment in support of Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo. This year, their gift will support the Community Advocates Ambassadorship Endowment, the Department of Geological Sciences and the Fund for Geneseo.

"It goes back to the department culture that was created a long time ago," says Dick Hatheway. "The family atmosphere that was created pervaded everything we did. As a result of that culture nurtured throughout their undergraduate years, geology alumni have tended to be very generous. It seemed to Linda and me that part of our responsibility now that we are retired is to serve as role models in our giving, so that alumni will have incentive to continue their support of the college and the department."