The African American Experience

Alphonso O'Neil-White
Alphonso O’Neil-White ’72 - President and CEO, HealthNow New York (BlueCross BlueShield)

Maurice Jones
Maurice Jones ’86 - Student Body President; Rhodes Scholar; CEO & Publisher, Virginian Pilot Newspapers

Fred Thompson
Fred Thompson ’79 - MPA University of Virginia; Chief Administrative Officer, Thompson Hospitality

Ed Owens
Ed Owens ’80 - Owner, Owens Insurance Agency; Vice-Mayor, South Boston, VA

Warren Thompson
Warren Thompson ’81 - MBA University of Virginia; President and CEO, Thompson Hospitality

Sekou Kaalund
Sekou Kaalund ’97 - Global Head of Sales, JP Morgan, NYC

Leonard Armstong
Leonard Armstrong ’92 - Headmaster, St Johns Episcopal School, Olney, MD

Philip McLeod
Philip McLeod ’04 - MBA Wharton School of Business; Investment Banker, Goldman Sachs

Matt Green
Matt Green ’07 - Sports Information Director, Shorter College; Conference SID of the Year, 2010

Hampden-Sydney College offers a premier liberal arts education for all its students - regardless of their race or ethnicity.  A Hampden-Sydney student graduates with a strong sense of honor, the ability to write well, speak clearly, think critically, and access a robust alumni network.  A destination for thoughtful young men for more than 200 years, the College welcomed the most diverse class in its history in the fall of 2010.  Nearly one in five freshmen at Hampden-Sydney is a minority or international student, and the percentage of our male African-American student population is higher than that of nearly all our peer Virginia colleges and universities.

Student Groups

Hampden-Sydney prides itself on being a second home for all its students. While the entire student population comprises one large brotherhood, there exist several groups within the brotherhood where minorities have found deep, meaningful connections.

  • The Minority Student Union (MSU) - The MSU was established to educate the Hampden-Sydney community on different cultures and to increase awareness of the variety of backgrounds students bring to campus.  The organization closely resembles a fraternity and has its own house on fraternity circle.
  • The Black Alumni Mentorship Reunion - This well-attended reunion for African-American Hampden-Sydney graduates and current students has been held every spring since 1990 and allows current students to speak with successful graduates about academics, jobs, and life.
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity - Hampden-Sydney students are eligible to join the Xi Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, founded at H-SC in 1979 and re-chartered at nearby Longwood University in 1986.
  • Call Me MISTER - African-American students at Hampden-Sydney who are interested in pursuing careers in teaching after they graduate are eligible to participate in this support program designed to increase the pool of available teachers from a broader, more diverse background.

Leadership Development Programs

In recent years, Hampden-Sydney students have received admittance to many nationally-recognized programs specifically tailored to African-American students from across the United States.  Students apply to these programs with help from the Office of Fellowship Advising and from various faculty and staff across campus.

  • Management Leaders for Tomorrow (MLT) - The premier career development institution that equips high-promise African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans with the key ingredients-skills, coaching, and door-opening relationships-that unlock their potential for careers in the corporate, non-profit, and entrepreneurial sectors.
  • W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute at Princeton University - The Institute develops young leaders and scholars with a commitment to giving back for the betterment of their communities and nation.  These young leaders are prepared to provide hope, direction, and vision for African-Americans and Latino-Americans.
  • Yale University Summer Medical and Dental Education Program - A six-week intensive summer program for highly motivated first- and second-year college minority students who are considering a career in medicine.
  • Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program (PPIA) - A national program that prepares students from groups who are underrepresented in leadership positions for advanced degrees, careers, and influential roles in government, non-profits, and international organizations.
  • Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) - SEO provides superior educational and career programs for young people from underserved communities to maximize their opportunities for college and career success in a wide variety of fields, from law to banking to IT to non-profit.
  • INROADS - INROADS provides continuous leadership development of outstanding ethnically diverse students and placement of those students in internships at many of North America's top corporations, firms, and organizations.
  • The Institute for Responsible Citizenship (I4RC) - At the summer program of I4RC, students complete rigorous academic seminars in Government and Economics, work at high-level internships, and participate in lectures, seminars, and roundtable discussions with some of the nation's most prominent public and private sector leaders as well as enjoy an extensive mentoring program.

Distinguished Guests and Speakers

In addition to dynamic programs, Hampden-Sydney invites dynamic speakers to campus to discuss issues important to African-American men or to simply interact with them and enrich our students' experience. Recent speakers include:

  • Myron Rolle - NFL free safety for the Tennessee Titans and a Rhodes Scholar; Hampden-Sydney College Trustee
  • Ed Lewis - The founder of Essence magazine
  • Wes Moore - The author of New York Times best-seller The Other Wes Moore and a Rhodes Scholar
  • Joe Rogers - Former Lt. Governor of Colorado
  • Lt. Col. Jerry Carter - Former Commanding Officer of the US Marine Corps' 2nd Radio Battalion and currently a National Security Fellow at Harvard University

President Howard

Dr. Christopher B. Howard, the president of Hampden-Sydney College since 2009, who is African-American, as are three of the past eight student body presidents. President Howard has been recognized by multiple national organizations for his leadership in the African-American community.

  • Virginia Trailblazers honored President Howard as one of the 2010 African-American Trailblazers in Virginia History.
  • THE ROOT 100 recognized President Howard as an emerging leader in the African-American community. The list also included LeBron James and John Legend.
  • Tavis Smiley aired an interview with President Howard in which the two discussed excellence in education at Hampden-Sydney College.
Ben Brown
Ben Brown ’10 - Medical Student at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
Ken Simmon
Ken Simon ’11 - Student Body President; accepted at UVa, UPenn, and UTexas Law
Ryan Carter
Ryan Carter ’13 - Davis Fellow, Baseball Player, I4RC Participant