History of the Minority Student Union


MSU LogoIn the fall of 1968, Hampden-Sydney had her first African-American student to enroll as a College Sealfreshman. Alfonso O'Neil-White of Virginia enrolled at Hampden-Sydney College as the first African-American student and also the first African-American on the basketball team. As the years passed, there have been many students from different ethnic backgrounds coming from various parts of the world from the Middle East to North America. As the years turned into decades many students of African descent have passed through these gates and on this Hill. These African-Americans have formed clubs, played sports and served on different executive committees throughout their four years at HSC.

In the early 1980s, the Alpha Phi Alpha (ΑΦΑ) Fraternity-a historically black fraternity-was charted on the campus of Hampden-Sydney College, but low membership eventually resulted in the chapter moving to Longwood College, now Longwood University. As the months turned to years, another group of black men called "The Brothers" was formed to help minority students adapt to being not only away from home but also at an all-white male campus. The Brothers helped minority students transition from unrecognizable and often painful situations into an environment of comfort, acceptance and love. They tried to present an atmosphere where minority students could come and relax, relieve stress, get help with the different classes and discuss interpersonal problems they experienced throughout life and at Hampden-Sydney College. As the years turned into decades, Minority Students at Hampden-Sydney College have made many changes and progressions over the years. It was not until 1999, however, that "The Brothers" was recognized as an official club on campus and became The Minority Student Union, which includes Asian-Americans, Jamaicans, and African-American students from many different states throughout the United States and the world.

Under the supervision of Andre' "Dre" Gregory, class of 2001, and Gregory Gunn, class of 2002, the Minority Student Union grew from about ten students to its present enrollment of 38 active members in the 2001-2002 school years. As the years passed, the Minority Student Union has fostered two Hampden-Sydney College Student Body Presidents -Maurice Jones (1985-1986) and Hakim J. Sutton (2002-2003)- and student-athletes in football, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, soccer, and tennis. There are also minority students who serve on different executive committees throughout campus, in the classroom and within social and professional fraternities-Alpha Chi Sigma (ΑΧΣ), Theta Chi (ΘΧ), Phi Gamma Delta (ΦΓΔ)-at Hampden-Sydney College and Alpha Phi Alpha (ΑΦΑ) Fraternity which is located at Longwood University. Representation is also recognizable in such Honor Fraternities as Alpha Psi Omega (ΑΨΩ), Eta Sigma Phi (ΗΣΦ), Omicron Delta Kappa (ΟΔΚ), Phi Beta Kappa (ΦΒΚ), Phi Alpha Delta (ΦΑΔ), and Psi Chi (ΨΧ).

Today, the Minority Student Union (MSU) has students who are currently majoring in many different areas of study. Such areas include Biology, Chemistry, Classics, Economics, English, Fine Arts, French, Greek, History, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology and Spanish. These men also hold offices of Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Captains, Webmasters and other forms of leadership roles in the different organizations in which they choose to partake. We are currently in the process of organizing a study group to help those who are having trouble in different areas of their studies. Some of the diverse activities that the Minority Student Union sponsors include Hope Day, dances, Greek Week activities, community service projects, AIDs Day programs, and cultural programs.