Hamilton College’s Class & Charter Day celebration, an annual convocation recognizing student and faculty excellence during the preceding academic year, will take place on Monday, May 11, at 4:15 p.m., in Wellin Hall, Schambach Center. This year’s speaker is John Hadity ’83, a film financing expert and executive vice president for EP Financial Solutions. His talk is titled “The Underrated Element of Surprise.” A live webcast of the ceremony will be available online.
With more than 20 years of studio experience, Hadity spent 12 years as the executive vice president of Motion Picture & Television Production Finance for Miramax Films. His films garnered more than 250 Academy Award nominations, with 52 wins including Best Picture winners Shakespeare in Love, The English Patient, and Chicago. He is an executive producer on recent films Master Harold and the Boys and Burning Blue, and is the chair emeritus of the Producers Guild of America East.
A sociology major at Hamilton, Hadity was a member of the Buffers, Rainbow Alliance, Wag and Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. Soon after graduating, he was recruited to serve as the co-chair of the then-fledgling alumni association for young alumni now known as the GOLD Group. As co-chair, he led a committee of representatives from each of the last 10 classes to organize fundraising and social events specifically targeted at young alumni in major metropolitan areas.
Subsequently, Hadity was featured in a front-page article in the Chronicle of Higher Education highlighting this forward-thinking effort which is now the model for similar programs at colleges and universities across the country.
As an alumnus, Hadity has served as a class agent, reunion volunteer, chair of the Performing Arts Advisory Committee, capital campaign committee member, and as an energetic volunteer for the Career Center, including service as a member of the 2011 Career Center Task Force. He has been an active volunteer for the Alumni Council, serving on the Executive Committee and the Class Leadership Committee. His term as president of the Alumni Association ends on June 30.
Hadity’s mission when he headed the Alumni Association was making Hamilton a leader in Career Services. He has hired Hamilton interns and participated in HamiltonExplore and career shadowing.
The first Class & Charter Day was held in 1950. It was the brainchild of then President Robert W. McEwen, who sought to combine the traditional Class Day (originally the last Wednesday of classes when students annually held games, athletic and singing contests, and various other extracurricular activities) with commemoration of the anniversary of the granting of the College’s Charter on May 26, 1812.
Noting that Class Day then fell close to the college’s “birthday,” he conceived the idea of having a convocation in the Chapel to hear an address by an alumnus, faculty member, historian or trustee whose subject would be something related to Hamilton's history and traditions. The occasion also came to include recognition of students with honors and awards.