Dean of Students
Blake A, 102
As the Dean of Students, I am an advocate of the mission of the College as I understand it; and I stress to the student affairs staff the link between College mission and our work. Also, I promote among our staff the ideas that living our lives consistent with the College's purpose and values and treating others, particularly students, with respect are the most powerful teaching tools we have to convey the College's mission, those of example and modeling.
We try to help create an environment in which the academic mission of the College can survive, even flourish, and in which students developmentally learn to balance freedom and responsibility and to become accountable for their actions on their way to becoming self-disciplined men who understand the interplay between independence and interdependence in a residential community.
We approach our students as adults, giving them the maximum freedom possible, but expecting responsibility. We have a reasonable toleration of the inevitable abuses of freedom so that developmentally our students will learn from their mistakes, gradually growing more independent so that when they leave us, they are more likely to be capable of making their own decisions, of anticipating the consequences of their actions or decisions, and of taking their places in society as responsible, contributing citizens.
Thus, there is a delicate balancing act: providing the freedom so that students can ultimately develop the only true discipline there is, self-discipline, and at the same time having the support services and programs available which challenge students and provide guidance and concepts-and the role models to administer the programs and services-which clearly establish standards and desirable ways of relating to one another and being a part of a community.
I am a Hampden-Sydney College graduate of the Class of 1978 and hold a Doctor of Ministries degree from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. I returned to the College in July of 1989, serving first as the Assistant Dean of Students and later Associate Dean of Students before becoming the Dean of Students in 2004. I am married to a native of Prince Edward County and have four children.