Cushing Hall


Cushing Hall

1824, 1833
College Road
Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943


Jonathan P. Cushing, the first layman and non-Presbyterian to assume the presidency, was perhaps the first modern president of the College because of his ideas regarding fundraising. Seeing that the College was outdated and in great disrepair, he began raising money for a new building, which he wanted on the highest ground on the campus. Began in 1822, the structure was built in two sections, the east wing and center section by 1824 and the west section by 1833.

Cushing or "New College," which remains the oldest continuously used four-story dormitory in the United States, originally housed students, faculty members, classrooms, chapel, library, and literary society meeting rooms--all but the President's and Steward's quarters. The chapel, which occupied the first floor of the center section, contained a balcony supported by six columns. When the chapel later became the gymnasium, the columns remained on the playing floor, giving Hampden-Sydney teams a decided advantage over their opponents. Cushing Hall was completely renovated in 1999. Southeast of Cushing Hall is the Constitution Oak, grown from one of the saplings given to delegates at the 1901 Virginia Constitutional Convention, where Hampden-Sydney President Richard McIlwaine represented Prince Edward County.

The handsome Federal architecture, chosen for Cushing, still distinguishes the campus today.