Strategic Plan

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Mission Since 1775

"to form good men and good citizens in an atmosphere of sound learning"


To become a model liberal arts college recognized for excellence 
in educating men for the twenty-first century.


Hampden-Sydney College is an institution of higher learning that provides a rigorous liberal arts education to prepare its students for the future.  The College is committed to a set of core values that are basic and enduring.  They explain what we believe and define how we will execute this plan.  These values shape the life of the college and can be found on the Education Goals page.

Education Goals

Since 1775 the mission of Hampden-Sydney College has been to form good men and good citizens in an atmosphere of sound learning. To fulfill this mission, the college holds high ideals in each of three areas: charactercurriculum, and climate. The College expects its students to be gentlemen of good moral character and to be active and informed participants in the life of their communities. Through their work in classes, students realize that learning is fulfilling work, and fulfilling work draws on learning. In their years at the College, students develop ways of learning that will make their lives productive, as they refine their abilities to read and think critically, analytically, creatively, and independently; acquire an integrated education in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences; and pursue deeper studies in one or more major areas. Overall, the education students gain at Hampden-Sydney and the work they do here help prepare them to be responsible, productive citizens. The intellectual and moral climate at the College supports the development of graduates who are prepared for an active life informed both by theory and by structured, considered experience.   

GOAL #1:   To graduate capable, confident men who are committed to serving with honor and character - Good Men, Good Citizens  

Through the liberal arts, the College realizes its educational mission to prepare our graduates for lives of personal fulfillment, career success, and significant engagement with the local and wider, even global, community. We will continue to help our students acquire the skills to think critically, communicate clearly, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely in an ever-changing global society - the key elements of the complete educational experience of Hampden-Sydney College.  

  1. Develop Hampden-Sydney College into a place recognized for its expertise in strengthening and educating men.
  2. Broaden the definition of the Hampden-Sydney tradition of honor to include personal conduct, character, ethics, and integrity throughout life.
  3. Help students become active citizens, to include finding ways to serve their chosen communities and the wider world.
  4. Investigate offering a business major rooted in the liberal arts tradition.
  5. Add and strengthen programs that will enable H-SC graduates to be competitive in the job market and provide them with skills to enter the workforce or to pursue advanced studies.
  6. Sponsor events and programs about career and professional development, including discussions on calling, vocational options, and community service, as well as other programs that may fall outside the typical academic calendar.
  7. Create an Office of Vocational Reflection for students to discern their calling, passion, and purpose in life.
  8. Increase opportunities and support for international experience, to a minimum of 40 percent participation by each graduating class from the current level of 30 percent.
  9. Enhance on-campus programs that raise understanding of global and cultural diversity.
  10. Enhance and expand our existing leadership and development programs, including the Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest, the Center for the Study of Political Economy, and The Society of '91.

GOAL #2:   To achieve an environment for the education of men that is recognized for excellence in learning, teaching, living, and working.  

We believe this goal is best attained in a comprehensive educational environment characterized by a significantly enhanced campus infrastructure and a liberal arts curriculum with a core commitment to the education of men in the 21st century.

A. Significantly enhance the physical environment for learning

  1. Revise the facilities master plan completed in 1998-1999 to create a central integrated campus core for student, faculty, and staff activities, to include [all projects to be listed in an appendix]:
    a. A center to include a student union and student services.
    b. A fine arts building.
    c. Facilities for the natural sciences.
  2. Upgrade existing academic buildings, residence halls, and Fraternity Circle to provide attractive and effective learning and living spaces across the College [projects to be listed in an appendix].
  3. Complete a campus plan for institutional and instructional technology, including ongoing support, and upgrade all systems as appropriate.

B. Implement our vision of a liberal arts education for men.

  1. Articulate our vision of a liberal arts education for men and engage in a curriculum development review.
  2. Focus on men's education through programmatic initiatives, including studies and collaboration with related centers at other colleges.
  3. Give more attention to the total experience of students' freshman and sophomore years, including programs of orientation, advising, student life, and academic support.
  4. Develop new strategies of teaching to fulfill the College's core liberal arts mission.

C. Significantly enhance co-curricular opportunities as an essential component of the total educational experience.

  1. Provide enhanced programs in service learning, internships, mentoring, leadership, and collaborative institutional partnerships.
  2. Stress the valuable connection between a liberal arts education and post-graduation vocations, e.g., in the health sciences, law, business, engineering, ministry, journalism, education, and nonprofit sectors.

GOAL #3:   To build and retain a more diverse, civil, and engaged college community.

Both the inscription on the entrance gate ("Come here as youths to leave as men") and the founding purpose ("to form good men and good citizens in an atmosphere of sound learning") emphasize the transformative character of and the value added by a Hampden-Sydney education.  Raising the requirements for the entering class and increasing our retention rate will enhance the College's image as a selective, rigorous academic institution."  

A. Recruitment and Retention of Students

  1. Increase the number and quality of the applicant pool to attract at least 325 freshmen and 35 transfers and re-admitted students a year, in order to maintain a minimum opening enrollment of 1,150 students.
  2. Establish more cooperative arrangements with the Virginia Community College system.
  3. Negotiate and publicize additional guaranteed-admission graduate programs in law, business, and engineering, similar to our existing programs in medicine.
  4. Examine ways to ensure access to a Hampden-Sydney education for all qualified students through increased scholarship opportunities.
  5. Actively engage parents and alumni in the recruitment process.
  6. Increase the student retention rate from 67 to 72 percent or better. We will focus advising and academic support on "re-recruiting" students to our mission throughout their enrollment.
  7. Enhance and expand recruiting efforts outside of Virginia and launch a concerted effort to attract and retain minority students, with goals of increasing non-Virginia students to 40 percent (including foreign students) and minority students to 15 percent.
  8. Increase curricular and co-curricular interaction with nearby colleges, especially women's colleges.

B.  Faculty and Staff Resources

  1. Commit the College's resources to recruiting and retaining an exemplary faculty and staff, including compensation, continuing education, and technological support. In particular, achieve and maintain the goal of faculty salaries at or above the 80th percentile of the AAUP II B category and achieve a Living Wage and benefits for staff.
  2. Enhance professional development opportunities and support for faculty and all staff.
  3. Improve communication, coordination, and collaboration among staff and academic departments to increase efficient use of institutional resources. Create a formal College-wide staff committee to improve communication among staff departments and with the College administration.
  4. Systematically encourage faculty-student out-of-class interaction.

C.  Board Leadership

  1. Strengthen and diversify the Board of Trustees.
  2. Increase the interaction of the Board with faculty and staff to promote better understanding.
  3. Evaluate all aspects of Board operations, including size, committees, functions, and number of meetings.

D.  Student Life

  1. Increase the staffing and resources of Student Affairs in several key areas in order fully to provide the programs and services necessary to improve retention.
  2. Develop a comprehensive program of "indirect approaches" in campus design and initiatives to address boredom, apathy, and substance use and abuse.   Expand and emphasize intercollegiate, recreational, intramural, and fitness programs.
  3. Sponsor new and enhanced social activities and options for students during weekends throughout the year [that complement the offerings of the College Activities Council.]
  4. Reinvigorate the fraternity system.
  5. Link residential life programs more clearly to academic programs.
  6. Strengthen the leadership skills of elected and appointed student leaders.
  7. Develop new models for orientation and for student life in the freshman year.
  8. Continue to develop innovative substance education programming.
  9. Ensure a safe and secure campus for our community.

E. Local Community

  1. Strengthen academic, co-curricular, and extracurricular programs with communities, especially Farmville-Prince Edward, nearby colleges, and cultural institutions.
  2. Establish an institutional framework for ongoing collaboration with community leaders and organizations.   

GOAL #4:   Market the College to select national and international audiences for awareness, student recruiting, and fundraising.   

To enhance its public visibility, student recruiting, and fundraising, the College will strengthen and increase its name recognition and the awareness of its mission to select audiences nationwide and beyond.  The College will launch a fully integrated and on-going marketing effort based on research derived both internally and externally.

  1. Market to prospective donors the exceptional opportunities for recognition on campus, with particular emphasis on ways donors can support the academic environment, e.g., through naming opportunities for programs, classrooms, and buildings, and endowment of professorships and scholarships.
  2. Engage parents in the life of the College through an enhanced parent orientation and by offering them significant opportunities to share their expertise and life experiences with the College community.
  3. Develop innovative programs to increase alumni engagement, including opportunities for distance learning, travel, summer seminars, affinity- and content-based reunions, and executive education in the summers that bring additional revenue and advance the College's mission.
  4. Involve students, parents, alumni, faculty, and friends of the College in advancing the College's visibility and fundraising, to include intercollegiate athletics.  

GOAL #5:  To assure the financial sustainability of the College.

To support the fulfillment of the preceding goals, we will create a stronger financial base by continuing our sound business practices and financial discipline. We will aggressively develop new sources of support to secure the College's long-term sustainability.

  1. Reassess the current strategy for student recruiting.
  2. Reassess the current strategy for institutional advancement.
  3. Increase the current endowment from its present total of $131.1 million to at least $200 million.
  4. Increase giving to the annual fund ($2.2 million in FY 2011-12) by 4 to 5 percent each year.
  5. Increase alumni participation from 29 percent to at least 45 percent.
  6. Execute a comprehensive campaign of at least $200 million to meet the current needs for infrastructure, programs, and endowment. [Note that the feasibility study will inform the final amount to be raised.]
  7. Place additional emphasis on corporate giving.
  8. Study the use of debt financing to fund the College's needs.
  9. Make use of summer programs, appropriate facility rentals, and contracted services to secure additional revenue.