Meet our Wheeler Society Members

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Meet our Wheeler Society Members

Christie Hayes '71 (Retirement PlanHeron Society/William Smith general support)

Christie Hayes '71

William Smith has been an important part of my life beginning with my college days. The exceptional education I received combined with my swimming and tennis team participation (among many other activities I participated in) reinforced core values such as discipline, hard work, and team cooperation and furthered the solid foundation of values my parents had laid out for me.

William Smith has a tradition of excellence for our students and student-athletes. I was blessed in the richness of my academic preparation as well as in the caliber of coaching and mentoring I received. They were the foundation for my own choices for work and wellness: I taught for 35 years and have mentored many students along the way. Ive also maintained my fitness through many activities including swimming, hiking, kayaking, and tennis.

I was fortunate to be among the original group of alums gathered by Mary Hosking to form the Heron Society in 1983 and served on the Board for many years. Since I couldnt afford to contribute much monetarily, giving of my time was a wonderful alternative. As I began looking to retirement, I wanted to do more with my financial support. Deciding to make a gift shared by the general fund and the Heron Society seemed a natural next step.

My strong sense of community and commitment to service were nourished at William Smith and it has been my goal to support the William Smith education and athletic programs ever since I graduated. Now that Im retired from teaching, I don't have a lot of extra money month to month, after giving modest amounts to my educational alma maters, church, and charities that are important to me. So planned giving seemed an appropriate way to go. William Smith and the Heron Society have been important influences in my life, and this financial plan gives me a way to return that support to a greater degree than I could with my current yearly donations.

Everyone has different circumstances and family members needing support, but I would highly recommend checking into all the planned giving possibilities. Education is the backbone of our society, and I believe it's important to support it in as many ways as possible.

Christie Hayes graduated from William Smith in 1971 with a degree in English. She was a member of the William Smith tennis and swimming teams, and was inducted into the Heron Hall of Honor in 1997. In 2007, Christie was awarded the Mary Hosking Award, which recognizes distinguished former student-athletes for outstanding lifetime achievement in their chosen field. She was a founding member of the Heron Society, and served as the groups president for several years. Christie was also a member of the Hai Timiai honor society, the vice president of her class, and a chairperson on the Big Sister Committee. She continues to swim competitively in the USA Masters Swimming Program, and is one of the top-ranked swimmers in the world for her age group. Christies brother, William 73, attended Hobart.

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