October 28, 2013
On October 12, Ben Mathes (left) of Rivers of the World (ROW), presented to Dr. David Klein, Dean of Students at Hampden-Sydney College and Class of 1978, the first Wilson Award for Leadership Excellence.
For ten years, Klein has led H-SC men on humanitarian trips to the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Belize. Close to 300 H-SC students have constructed clinics, schools, churches, a camp, and a hospital wing in some very remote locations. In addition, the students have invested countless hours in the lives of the children of these villages. They have played soccer, baseball, and Frisbee; held art classes; and given away clothes to children who have so very little. In every setting, H-SC men behaved as gentlemen and left each setting better than they found it.
According to Mathes, “Klein’s love of service and his love of H-SC men combine to create a leader who leads by serving. Heat, rain, bugs, and spoiled chicken have never slowed him. He has lifted, dug, painted, hammered, and poured concrete in countless situations and in his wake has created a can-do spirit in the students.
The program was named "Beyond the Hill" by Klein for a very good reason – getting H-SC students beyond the hill carries them past their comfort zones and into cultures they might not ever have experienced. Lifelong friendships have been created by the combined efforts of hard labor and rewarding service to others. The award was presented at a reunion dinner for students who have participated in ROW/Beyond the Hill service projects.