On the Hill

Wilson Center on Capitol Hill

Chris Cooper '92 (left) and Chris Stirewalt '97 met with students from the Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest. Dr. David Marion (right) takes the students each year to learn from alumni on Capitol Hill.

TAKING ON CAPITOL HILL
Dozens of students interested in careers in politics or government joined Dr. David Marion for the annual trip to Washington, D.C., with the Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest. For many years, Dr. Marion has introduced students to alumni working in a variety of roles, from Congressional aides and elected officials to lobbyists and agency executives. This year was no different.

Hugo Rodriguez '88, deputy director of the Office of Mexican Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and Scott Pietan '95, director of domestic policy at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, talked to the Hampden-Sydney delegation about the complex global economy and the emergence of countries such as Brazil.

Pietan says, "I don't get back to Hampden-Sydney as often as I would like, but this event and others like it give me a chance to talk with today's students and-I hope-help them better understand the many, different opportunities available to them after they graduate. It's great that Dr. Marion and the Wilson Center do this every year. It's a real asset for the students."

Chris Cooper '92, Democratic Party strategist, and Chris Stirewalt '97, digital politics editor and commentator at FOX News, reviewed the recently completed presidential election and, if you can believe it, what both political parties have planned for 2016.

David Brown '87, vice president for governmental affairs at Exelon Corp; Tucker Shumack '95, partner at GDS Partners LLC; and Paul Cooksey '70, chief of staff and senior advisor to the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, discussed the practice of lobbying Congress and federal agencies as the federal government wrestles with options in spending, taxation, and possible sequestration.

For the final meeting of the day, a group of congressional aids and staff members gave students first-hand perspective on working on Capitol Hill. Hunter Pickels '05, Thomas Craig '99, Thomas Doheny '09, William Pace '10, Jack Ruddy '10 and Mac McKinney '11 discussed their day-to-day activities and what to expect from Congress during the lame-duck session.

"I remember making the trip to visit Capitol Hill with the Wilson Center only a few years ago," says Pace, a staff assistant for U.S. Representative Robert Hurt '91. "I'm happy to already be able to give back to the College this way and to continue taking part in this important program."

Before heading back to Hampden-Sydney, the students attended a gathering of the DC Alumni Club at the St. Regis Hotel. The event included a panel discussion on philanthropy with opinions from Dr. Carol Adelman, senior fellow and director of the Center for Global Prosperity at the Hudson Institute; Peter B. Kellner from Endeavor Global; and Charles Payne '88 of Hirschler Fleischer Law Firm.

 

KIRBY FIELD HOUSE SHINES WITH COLOR

Kirby Field House

Ford Scott '16 makes his way from the Fitness Center in the newly repainted Kirby Field House. After sporting a muted brown exterior since it's construction in the 1970s, Kirby now shows its Tiger pride in a bright garnet and gray. It took crews approximately 350 gallons of paint to cover the building's 103,000 square-foot exterior. The Fitness Center opened in 2004 and more than 150 people visit every day. In addition to Leggett Pool (which has been upgraded with diving blocks and timing equipment for the swim team), racquetball courts, a group aerobics room, and a multitude of free weights, the Center also features top-of-the-line fitness equipment from Woodway, Matrix, and LifeFitness.

 

HIGHT PUBLISHES BERKELEY BOOK
Under Cambridge University Press, philosophy professor Marc Hight has published his second book, The Correspondence of George Berkeley. This complete collection of Berkeley's extant correspondence includes letters written by him and to him, supplemented by extensive explanatory and critical notes by Hight.

Berkeley (1685-1753) was the Bishop of Coyne and Irish philosopher whose work contributed to the fields of economics, mathematics, political theory, and theology. He pioneered the theory of "immaterialism" and his work ranges over many philosophical issues that remain of interest today.

Dr. Hight's first book is 2008's Ideas and Ontology. He is also the coordinating editor of the journal Berkeley Studies.

 

ARCHERS HONOR JIM KIDD
Pianist Frank Archer '73 and his wife, flutist Mary Ann Archer, have published two musical transcriptions. They are both music professors at Hampden-Sydney.

The first is Four Brazilian Rags by Ernesto Nazareth. From the extensive output of Nazareth's dance collection, the Archers have created an exciting addition to the repertoire of the modern piccolo soloist. Hot, rhythmic, and totally engaging, these three tangos and a polka are sure to be a hit on any program. They are dedicated to the Barger Emeritus Professor of Music at Hampden-Sydney, James Kidd, who suggested the arrangements.

The second is Tambourin Chinois by Fritz Kreisler. Originally from Provence, the traditional tambourin has been performed for centuries on the galoubet (a small flute) with a drum. Kreisler, a virtuoso violinist, wrote this piece as a showpiece encore.

In celebration of their accomplishment, the Archers have been performing the works this fall at many venues, including the University of Virginia, Louisiana State University, and Caldwell College where Mr. Archer previously taught.

 

NEW CLASSROOM TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS EASY COLLABORATION

Gilmer renovations

Students in Dr. Ed Devlin's biology class break off into study groups easily thanks to recent renovations and upgrades, including the popular "bumper car" desks. Before the changes to room 105 in Gilmer Hall, students and their professors were separated by anchored tables that ran the width of the room. "I couldn't even get to the students," says Devlin, "but now I can walk to the back of the room to help a student if I need to. This is a much better teaching environment."

The renovations and upgrades across campus were possible thanks to a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and generous contributions from the members of the Parents Council to Igniting Sound Learning: A Campaign for the Classroom, the College's fundraising initiative to modernize its learning spaces. Many of our classrooms were outfitted to accommodate teaching styles
made popular in the 1960s and '70s. As teaching has evolved to become more student-centered, classrooms need to evolve as well.

Also under consideration for upgrades is the Writing Center in Morton Hall. This Center has helped thousands of students prepare for the Rhetoric Proficiency Exam and polish essays for class. Writing Center tutors provide valuable after-hours guidance in curriculum at the core of the Hampden-Sydney experience. It is crucial for the College to modernize this facility that has remained largely unchanged since it was originally funded in the late 1980s.
If you are interested in supporting the Igniting Sound Learning campaign, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at (434) 223-6137.

 

ALBUMLEAVES UNLOCKED
A collection of contemporary music features nine pieces by fine arts professor David Salvage. Lock and Key on Navona Records includes about 20 minutes of Salvage's original music, all of which has come from his music blog Albumleaves.com.

"For the album, I selected works that I thought were representative of the project. Among them are three inspired by buildings designed by Thomas Jefferson: Monticello, Poplar Forest, and the Rotunda. This past summer, I gave my first public performance of Albumleaves. This was a part of the Bologna Estate Festival in Italy.  I will give a more formal performance in March at Longwood.  Hopefully still more performances will take place during 2013.

"Sequenza21.com [a contemporary music website for which Dr. Salvage was previously the managing editor] featured me on the homepage," says Salvage. "And my Poplar Forest piece recently was broadcast on WRUV radio in Burlington, Vermont."

Dr. Salvage has been uploading his work to Albumleaves since early 2010. The site features more than 90 works written and performed by him, as well as improvisations, pieces from the classical music canon, and quotations about music from literature. Salvage is happy to report that his site has had visitors from around the globe.

 

IMAGINATION'S ALIVE ON THE HAMPDEN-SYDNEY STAGE

The 39 Steps

The 39 Steps had something for everyone, especially laughs-with Taylor Anctil '16 (far left) and Patrick Ford '16 (left).
 

Audiences—large ones, indeed—filled Johns Auditorium for the Theatre Department's fall production The 39 Steps, a theatrical production of Alfred Hitchcock's version of the novel by John Buchan. That convoluted lineage is important, because Professor Shirley Kagan and her students needed plenty of creativity to reproduce a film on stage, a film shot on many locations with a whole host of characters.

As Kagan said in her Director's Note: "This means that staging this play is a struggle of the most joyous kind, not only because six actors take on over 40 characters, or because this one simple stage houses over a dozen locations, but because in doing this, the very emphasis on the limits of theatricality call attention to what the stage can do: it puts the body of the actor in the same room as you, the audience; it revels in the interplay that you share; most importantly it takes us back to that time in our lives when a box could be a house, four chairs could be a car, and in doing so, it celebrates our most incredible human gift: the power of imagination."

The show was a great success, with wonderful performances by the students and energetic crowds, some of the largest in recent years.

Taking part in a theatrical production is a great way to meet people and to make new friends. The 39 Steps featured four freshmen in its cast: Andrew Dame of Charlottesville; Taylor Anctil of Concord, California; Patrick Ford of Marion; and Joseph Link of Lynchburg.

Joseph, who appeared in many plays at Heritage High School, says, "I never really expected that I would be getting involved with theatre at Hampden-Sydney. I thought I had given up doing theatre altogether, but I was thrilled when I found out my academic adviser signed me up for the Acting I course. From there I found out about the show, auditioned, and then got the lead role. It was a really exciting experience. I love doing theater because of the joy you can give an audience, whether they are 20 or 200."

In late February, the Theatre Department will be putting on Good, a tragedy by C. P. Taylor in which a German professor is seduced into Nazism. The production is part of a symposium on the Holocaust.