Looking back on 2013 I am proud of the great strides our Alumni Association has taken in advancing its mission to “promote the welfare of Hampden-Sydney College, and maintain the good will of all former students toward the College and their comradeship with each other.” In March, the Alumni Association held the Rhetoric Proficiency Exam Toast (RPE Toast), a celebration of our College’s dedication to teaching its students how to write well. This event, held simultaneously in Clubs across the globe, was the first of its kind, and we are expecting to be even bigger this year. In June, we held our inaugural Reunion Weekend, letting alumni have their run of the Hill while reconnecting with classmates, the campus, and the community. Finally, in September, the Alumni Association made a commitment to strengthening its leadership and governance by voting to establish its Board of Directors.
Throughout the year alumni supported our students in sessions on campus at the Professional Development Institute, and on C-Day. Several alumni, like Fred Thompson ’79, Warren Thompson ’81, and Daniel LeGrande ’02, hosted student groups at their offices and shared real-world knowledge about their businesses and industries. Additionally, the Wilson Center’s annual trip to Capitol Hill again featured dozens of alumni who spoke to students about work, life, and politics on the Hill. We have found that both alumni and students enjoy these interactions; so, please let us know if you have hosted students at your business or if you’re interested in doing so.
This year alumni remained steadfast supporters of Tiger Athletics. Among the highlights were the H-SC hospitality suite at the ODAC Basketball tournament in March, and taking over the town with a big party at Ashland Coffee and Tea before the football Tigers won the ODAC title at Randolph-Macon. Everyone who attended enjoyed great food and drink along with live music by Matt Treacy ’08 and Stuart Tinsley ’09. Special thanks goes to David Ritter, father of offensive lineman Tyler Ritter ’14, for bringing spirit and support to our away game tailgates with his custom ‘Tiger Tailgater’ trailer! We hope our regional Clubs will continue these tailgates—and that all Hampden-Sydney fans will join us—in supporting all Tiger athletics both home and on the road in 2014. In addition to the tailgates, each Hampden-Sydney Club is open to alumni, parents, and friends.
This fall saw a record number of events both on and off campus. Highlighting our on campus events was the annual pilgrimage we know as Homecoming. In addition to all of the traditional tailgating fun, attendees were treated to a post game concert with the sounds of Cyrus McCormick and the Reapers (featuring Strat Butterworth ’70, Clay Butterworth ’72, Lindsay Barnes ’73, Bob Lissenden ’73, and Bob Bedinger ’74) on Hampden House lawn with beverages from Blue Mountain Brewery (Taylor Smack ’97). Local clubs hosted State of The College presentations where President Howard, and other senior staff members offered a candid discussion about the vitality of Hampden-Sydney and how our strategic plan, H-SC 2020, looks to address the head winds facing higher education today. These discussions generated outstanding feedback, questions, and conversations among alumni, and will continue into the spring.
As we kick off 2014, I invite you to get involved with the Alumni Association. Mark your calendar for March 25, 2014—RPE Toast number two! Also, watch alumni.hsc.edu for events coming to your area. Finally, don’t forget the highlight of the spring! Reunion Weekend, June 6-8, 2014, where the classes of ’64, ’69, ’74, ’79, ’84, ’89, ’94, ’99, ’04, ’09, and the Patrick Henry Society will re-take the Hill.
I am looking forward to continuing our great momentum this year, and seeing you soon!
In 2010, a group of alumni was thinking about new ways it could help re-engage the Hampden-Sydney alumni and other friends of the College. Waxing nostalgic, the men reflected on the good old days, many of which had taken place at Fraternity Circle. For this group, The Circle had been a place where memories were made, bonds were formed, networks were built, and good times were had.
The group believed there was a market for H-SC alumni that would naturally connect to a fraternity-themed event. “From there,” said Michael Palmore ’97, Chairman of The Circle Committee, “The Circle was born. Our goals were to link our alumni to the College, raise money for students, showcase the success of the fraternity system, and recapture some of those good times.”
Three years later, The Circle: A Party Presented by Your Fraternity Alumni, has become a strong H-SC tradition. Each year the party is held at The Country Club of Virginia “on the eve of The Game.” The event has been well-received by alumni, parents, and friends of the College who are looking to make a full weekend out of the Beat Macon festivities.
Outfitting the Club’s grand ballroom with oversized images of the houses, framed fraternity composites from decades gone by, as well as candid photos of bands on the decks, students socializing, and memories being made serve to transport attendees from the “here and now” to the “gone, but not forgotten.” “We are recapturing a fleeting moment, but we are reminded of the experience we were lucky enough to have had,” said Palmore.
After three successful years, the dedicated committee members can stand tall knowing they have been effective in achieving the event’s mission. “In its first year, The Circle was the highest attended, paid-for event in H-SC’s history,” Palmore reported. The Circle has raised money through sponsorships and silent and live auctions since the inaugural event in 2011. Proceeds support three major initiatives: The Circle Internship Fund for fraternity students who take on unpaid internships, The Circle Scholarship Fund, which is an endowed merit-based scholarship for fraternity men, and a “Welcome to The Circle” barbecue and bluegrass event intended to introduce students to Fraternity Rush.
The Circle’s success has been exceptional. It isn’t often that an event can generate such interest and have such an immediate, direct impact while bringing together alumni and friends.
Please save the date, November 14, 2014, for The Circle. We hope you will join us in making a full weekend out of Beating Macon and celebrating the social pulse of Hampden-Sydney!
The 2013 organizing committee was: Matthew G. Anderson III ’04 ΚΣ, Jason S. Angus ’97 ΛΧΑ, Emmett M. Avery IV ’92 ΚΑ, M. Deane Cheatham III ’88 ΚΑ, G. Berkeley Edmunds ’95 ΣΑΕ, Charles M. Gutheridge ’68 ΚΣ, John M. Hopper ’89 ΚΑ, James F. ‘Whitey’ Lipscomb ’66 ΠΚΑ, John C. Middleton ’76 ΚΣ, Michael G. Palmore ’97 ΛΧΑ (chair), William F. Shumadine III ’94 ΠΚΑ, Stephen T. Spraker ’97 ΚΣ, Thomas ‘Dog’ Walker ’77 ΚΑ, John A. Wyatt ’92 ΚΣ.
During halftime of the Homecoming football game, the Alumni Association presented the annual Alumni Citation to an alumnus for outstanding support of Hampden-Sydney College and of his community. The award recognizes “contributions of volunteer service to the College, financial commitments to the future of the institution, and a lifetime of service exemplary of the College’s mission to ‘form good men and good citizens.’ ”
This year’s recipient of the Alumni Citation was E. Judson “Judd” McAdams ’77. He was a member of Lambda Chi fraternity and he and his wife Mary Lynne are the parents of four children, including Judson McAdams ’04 and Scott McAdams ’07. He has had a 33-year career in commercial real estate and is a partner in RED Partners, LLC. Mr. McAdams volunteers at the YMCA’s Camp Thunderbird and serves on its Board of Managers. He also is an active member at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlotte (where The Rev. Chip Edens ’92 is Rector).
Mr. McAdams is a longtime member of the Society of Founders and served as president of the Hampden-Sydney Alumni Association from 2007 to 2009. He was recently elected to the newly formed Board of Directors of the Alumni Association. For nearly three decades he was the president of the Hampden-Sydney Club of Charlotte, hosting many events at his home and office building.