Know Thyselves Poll Results
The top answers were: in my office, in a closet, in my bedroom, and in an umbrella stand! Below you'll find just a few of the other responses we received. We randomly selected five to receive a prize for participating. Congratulations to Drew Winner ’84, Bob Johnson ’79, Lisa Crisman Hoskey ’95, Mark Snickenberger ’11, and Marisabel Rey Mata ’19. (See our newest poll and participate for a chance to win!)
Since the mid ’70s, each graduating senior has been presented with a cane at Commencement as a token of the College’s affection. Do you still have your Hamilton cane, and if so, where do you keep it?
My cane is kept in a stand with my late husband’s cane and our daughter’s cane. I love that all of our canes are together, even though Michael Babcock ’90 never got the chance to even see his daughter [Kelsey Babcock ’17] start Kindergarten. He would have been immensely proud to know she walked on the same campus as he did, slept in the same dorm, and now has the same cane.
— Kim Babcock ’90
My wife’s and mine together, next to the fireplace.
— Andrew Brodsky ’11
I have my cane in the back of a closet in a guest room. I know it's not an exciting location, but it means that a few times a year, when I am looking for a specific item or doing some seasonal cleaning, I run across my cane and remember all of the good times I had on the Hill!
— Alison Brown ’11
I keep it in our library along with my husband's and sisters'. We have five canes in the library!
— Maura Craig ’85
I keep my cane hanging on a wall in my bedroom at my parent's apartment. On a tack above it hangs a wool Pendelton hat that used to be a loved Opus decoration.
— Julia DeMaio ’21
Hanging on a wall in a framed display box.
— Stefan Engelhardt ’86
In my office and I walk with it in every graduation and commencement ceremony at my school when we wear our regalia. I even have my Kirkland Apple pin on my robes as well. My students who go on to Hamilton all know what it is, and I send them off to the Hill by telling them to go earn their own cane.
— Sarah Giarraputo Fischer ’01
In my apartment, along with my father's [Thomas "Pat" Guerin '64] cane. They will soon be hung above my diploma!
— Anna Guerin ’01
I was the assistant to the president 1980-83 (Martin Carovano). The tradition of canes began in the late ’70s when Lawry Gulick was dean of the College. He had come from Dartmouth where they had a tradition of canes. At that time, the canes were made by a craftsman in New Hampshire. When the shipment of canes arrived each spring, they were sometimes sticky (not dry) and were fairly rough. As the size of the graduating class grew with the merger of Kirkland and Hamilton, this craftsman didn't want to continue, so, in my role as assistant to the president, I approached Harden Furniture in McConnelsville, N.Y., to make them. David Harden, a Hamilton alumnus and trustee at the time, was president/CEO of Harden, which made quality cherry furniture. They had the skill and capacity to make the canes, and made them for at least 20 years. Harden Furniture went out of business within the last decade, and I have often wondered where the canes are being manufactured now.
— Jennifer Potter Hayes K’73
(Editor's Note: When Harden Furniture closed, Doug Cleveland '85 approached the College about continuing the tradition. A longtime employee at Harden, Doug had several ideas about who might take over the canemaking. The job went to the Fancher Chair Co. in Falconer, N.Y., near Buffalo. Fancher has made Hamilton's canes since 2019.)
On the TV stand where I can see it every day!
— Kate Houghtaling ’19
For years my cane propped open a window in my mom’s small home in Central New York. When we had to move my mom out of the house we grew up in because of her Alzheimer’s, she returned the cane to me saying, “This will help you in your walk through the rest of your life.” My mom hadn’t forgotten the true meaning of the Hamilton cane. Today that cane rests beside my desk as a fond memory of my mom and the friends made and lessons learned on that hilltop in Clinton.
— Bob Johnson ’79
Next to my fireplace in my living room. It always ends up prompting a conversation when we have guests.
— Kari Diamond Kayiatos ’01
In our guest bedroom, along with other antiques — LOL.
— Michelle Koenig ’96
Under my bed in case I need to fend off intruders.
— Rachel Lannino ’17
In my office, right near the gavel I was given when I graduated law school.
— Randi Lowitt ’84
My cane is carefully leaning against a corner in my home office and positioned in a way where it proudly appears in the background of my many daily Zoom calls.
— Ryan Luciano ’99
Right next to the fireplace in our family room. We actually have two — mine and my wife's [Joan Randolph Magruder] — both Class of ’84!
— Jonathan Magruder ’84
Gave it to my aunt to hold on to since her support helped me get through school.
— Brianna McRae ’09
In the living room of my apartment. More information here.
— Chuck Miller ’85
In my English Department office at Emory University. I use my cane at every Commencement ceremony as one of the Marshals. Everyone asks about it.
— Jim Morey ’83
By the garage door. It's perfect for knocking mud off my boots.
— Taylor Mugford ’02
On display on a shelf next to an Alexander Hamilton bobblehead, artwork, and pictures.
— D.J. Postles ’00
Proudly in my office near my Hamilton chair!
— John Refermat ’91
Our living room, as a reminder to our children that hard work yields rewards.
— Liz Fisk Roth ’96
Back of my desk, next to my father's ancient slide rule.
— Jennifer Sandorf ’92
It hangs under my diploma in my study.
— Doug Shaw ’89
One of the corners of the tri-cornered hat is slightly chipped due to falling off my fireplace mantle, but I still display my cane — it moves around the house — sometimes it’s on the mantle, sometimes on a bookcase, sometimes leaning in a corner, etc.
— Alexandra Stevens ’95
I usually keep in in my living room but I recently hurt my knee and I used it as a cane.
— Margaret Surowka ’87
It sits in a corner of our family gathering room. While it's tucked in a corner, it's intentionally in view for people to see. Over the years, I've had many questions about it, and each time, I can proudly share its history and role in my life!
— Alison Lemeshow Taubman ’84
It's kept in my office in a basket that happens to be right below my diploma. It's a great conversation piece and the envy of anyone who didn't get a cool cane at their commencement!
— Adrienne Taylor ’04
Standing in good company in the family room corner with my wife’s (Ann Adler ’85) and our oldest child’s (Ryn Winner ’19). Waiting to add James Winner’s (’23).
— Drew Winner ’84
On my mantle, behind the plant my dear friend I met at my pre-orientation gave me as a housewarming present!
— Sarah Zeiberg ’18