May 13, 2015
On Sunday, May 10, the College celebrated its 240th academic year as 231 men received their diplomas.
U.S. Representative Robert Hurt was the Commencement speaker. Representative Hurt graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in 1991 and received his law degree from Mississippi College School of Law in 1995.
Currently, he represents Virginia's Fifth District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a member of the Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over all aspects of the nation's financial and housing sectors.
A native of Pittsylvania County, Representative Hurt served, from 2002 to 2007, in the Virginia House of Delegates representing parts of Pittsylvania County, Henry County, and the City of Martinsville. Beginning in 2008, he represented the 19th District in the Senate of Virginia for two years.
In his address, Hurt said, "This college, literally born in the crucible of revolution, has faithfully served the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the citizens of our great nation for the last 239 years. This is a legacy that inspires me; and I hope that it is a legacy that inspires you." As a part of the commencement exercises, the College awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
An honorary Doctor of Divinity was given to The Reverend Virginia DiStanislao, the Priest-in-Charge of The Episcopal Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew in Kenbridge. She spoke at this year's Baccalaureate ceremony. Honorary degrees were also awarded to Miles Hobart-Hampden, Earl of Buckinghamshire, and Thomas Allen '60.
Hobart-Hampden is a descendant of one of the College's eponyms, John Hampden, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his participation in various charities and service as co-chairman of the Hampden-Sydney College "Through These Gates" campaign.
Allen has served as a member of the College's Board of Trustees for sixteen years, and in the most recent seven years, he has acted as Chairman of the Board. For his service and work with several charitable institutions, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws.
Four ROTC cadets were commissioned as officers in the United States Military. Lieutenant Colonel Rucker Snead '81 (Ret. USA) administered the Oath of Office to (left to right) Kolin Atkinson, Joshua Gaskill, John Wirges, and Robert Zbinden.
Following this ceremony, the valedictory address was given by Connor Bradley, who became the First Honor Graduate with a cumulative grade point average of 3.9842.
2015 Commencement Awards Recipients: