HAMPDEN-SYDNEY ALUMNI SERVE IN THE VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE
by William Pace '10
Hampden-Sydney College is no stranger to having its graduates occupy elected offices. Since its inception, Hampden-Sydney graduates have included Governors, members of Congress, and state legislators, including members of the Virginia General Assembly. Currently, Hampden-Sydney has four graduates who serve in the Virginia General Assembly, three in the House of Delegates and one in the Senate.
FOR A STATE LEGISLATURE of 140 members, having four who attended a small liberal arts college is impressive. They come from different parts of the state, but each of the four graduates epitomizes what Hampden-Sydney teaches all who walk through its gate: aspire to be "good men and good citizens."
Christopher K. Peace '98 represents the 97th Delegate District, which includes New Kent county and parts of Caroline, Hanover, Henrico, King and Queen, and King William counties. Growing up in Ashland, Virginia, Delegate Peace always wanted to be a public servant. Since his 2006 election, Peace has been the youngest member of the Virginia General Assembly, but this fact will change in the upcoming 2010 General Assembly session.
Peace's time at Hampden-Sydney had a significant impact on his desire to serve. He remembers freshman orientation when then-President Samuel Wilson told the incoming class of 1998 that the Hampden-Sydney man must revere the honor code and incorporate that value into everyday life. "Few of us knew the import of the man before us but we would soon discover that he was a force and dedicated to seeing our generation lead," Peace recalled.
As a student at Hampden-Sydney, Peace served in the Student Senate for three years (being chair his junior year), served as a tour guide for all four years, and was active in his Sigma Nu fraternity leadership. Delegate Peace describes his time at Hampden-Sydney as "went by in a flash." He believes that "Hampden-Sydney has extraordinary professors and provides an idyllic setting for learning and growing both intellectually and emotionally." He considers the students at Hampden-Sydney as "lucky to be enrolled at the College." "I loved my political science classes with Drs. Eastby and Pontuso and was greatly challenged by my English classes with Dean Colley, and Drs. Hardy and Bagby (poetry)." However, Delegate Peace regrets dropping "Caveman Chemistry." Delegate Peace had high praise for Dr. Susan Robbins, Professor of English and Rhetoric. "She is a wise person and an excellent writing professor. I often think how I would love to take her classes again."
After graduating in 1998 and prior to his public service in the legislature, Peace worked at McGuire Woods Consulting, a national public affairs and public relations firm. Peace began his public affairs career by working as a legislative aide to then-Delegate Eric Cantor and as a law clerk for the Richmond City Attorney and Virginia's Attorney General. Currently Peace is a consultant for Smithfield Foods, Inc. and is an adjunct professor of legal studies at Virginia Commonwealth University's Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. Locally, Peace serves as the executive director of Historic Polegreen Church Foundation, a historic preservation non-profit foundation.
I became aware that those who had a liberal arts background generally were more well-rounded and more interested in participating and leading in the activities of life and community.
Harvey B. Morgan '52
Pharmacist & Legislator
In 2006, the 97th Delegate seat became vacant after the person who held the seat decided to run for the State Senate. Since taking office, Peace was named the State Police Association, Virginia Sheriff's Association Legislative Rookie of the Year in 2006. The Virginia Assisted Living Association (2007), the Virginia Council for Private Education, and the Virginia Optometric Association (2009) have honored Peace for his legislative service. In 2005, Style Weekly magazine named Peace one of the "Top 40
Under 40." He is an alumnus of Leadership Metro Richmond and University of Virginia's Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. The Sorensen Institute presented Peace its 2008 alumni award for "Expression of Ideals." "Needless to say I never thought I would be able to have the opportunity to begin my service at 29 years old in the oldest English-speaking legislative body in the new world."
Harvey B. Morgan '52 represents the 98th Delegate District. His district includes the town of West Point, Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen (part), Mathews, and Middlesex counties. Delegate Morgan's service in the Virginia House of Delegates dates back to 1980; he is second in seniority. His time at Hampden-Sydney inspired him to be a participant rather than a spectator. "Soon after becoming a pharmacist," he recalls, "I became aware that those who had a liberal arts background generally were more well rounded and more interested in participating and leading in the activities of life and community." As a freshman, Delegate Morgan was very active in extracurricular activities including running cross-country, singing in the Glee Club, playing in the football band, and joining a literary society. His involvement in extracurricular activities was so much that it had an impact on his grades freshman year. His roommate, Gene Milener '52, inspired him to run cross-country. "Through these experiences I developed stamina and a determination to never give up. We remain friends and have kept in touch through the years."
After graduating from Hampden-Sydney in 1952, Delegate Morgan attended the Medical College of Virginia to become a pharmacist. It was when Morgan was a pharmacist that he further expanded his interest in public service. He became active in civic and professional activities, including serving as chair of district and state pharmacy associations. Some of the civic and professional activities in which Morgan remains active include American Pharmaceutical Association, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Friends of Dragon Run, Virginia Pharmacists Association, and West Point Kiwanis. In 1979, his friends and neighbors asked him to run for House of Delegates after John Warren Cooke, former Speaker of the House of Delegates, decided not to run for re-election. That same year, he was elected. "The best public servants are those upon whom public service is pressed, encouraged by others," Morgan states. "For positions that require an extraordinary commitment of time and energy, such as in the State Legislature or Congress, persons with young children may want to wait until the children are older. Legislative bodies experience a lot of turnover; I was 49 years of age when first elected and, now, am second in seniority."
Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr. '84 represents the 100th Delegate District. His district is Virginia's Eastern Shore, which includes Accomack and Northampton counties, plus parts of Norfolk. Delegate Lewis became a member of the House of Delegates in 2004 after winning a hard-fought campaign. The 2002 election for the vacated 100th Delegate District seat was another difficult campaign, but Lewis kept his message honest, clean, and positive. Since being elected to the House of Delegates, he has been appointed to the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Delegate Lewis also serves on the Governor's Aerospace Advisory Council. Delegate Lewis suggests that, "If you have a deep interest in history, particularly the history of our Commonwealth and you believe in the ability of public policy to make a real difference in peoples lives-service in elective office seems to follow naturally."
While at Hampden-Sydney College, Lewis served on the Student Court and was court chair his senior year. "I served in Student Government and that experience, combined with the emphasis on community service at Hampden-Sydney, certainly affected my decision to become involved in public service," says Lewis. Like Delegate Christopher Peace, Delegate Lewis is also a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity, a Fraternity known at Hampden-Sydney for its emphasis on community service. When Delegate Lewis attended Hampden-Sydney, Josiah Bunting was President of the college. Delegate Lewis described President Bunting as someone who "exerted an influence over all of us." Delegate Lewis also cited General Wilson and former Dean of Students Lewis Drew '60 as other individuals who had a profound impact on him while at Hampden-Sydney College. "I was also privileged to be in one of General Wilson's first seminars. Lewis Drew was also a tremendous influence."
I cannot emphasize enough (from the perspective of several years) what a very special place Hampden-Sydney is and what great opportunities it offers. Please make the most of it.
Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr. '84
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
While not in Richmond representing the Eastern Shore, Delegate Lewis practices law in Accomac. As a Hampden-Sydney graduate, Delegate Lewis continues to be involved with the College as the Alumni Club President from the Eastern Shore. Regarding Hampden-Sydney College, Delegate Lewis states, "I cannot emphasize enough (from the perspective of several years) what a very special place Hampden-Sydney is and what great opportunities it offers. Please make the most of it."
Robert Hurt '91 represents the 19th Senate District. His district includes Campbell (part), Franklin, and Pittsylvania counties and the city of Danville. Senator Hurt is currently serving his first term as a state Senator, which started in 2008. Prior to his election to the Virginia Senate, Senator Hurt was a member of the House of Delegates for six years. Senator Hurt started his tenure as an elected official in 2000, when he was elected to the Chatham Town Council. "Because of the significant decline in our local economy over the past 20 years, most of the people I grew up with have moved away. I believe that this dynamic must change and that the only way to bring this change is to step up and help build a better climate for small business and family farms in our part of the Commonwealth."
Outside his duties as a Senator, he is a member of the Virginia Bar Association Board of Governors, the Hampden-Sydney Wilson Center Advisory Board, and the State Advisory Board for the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. He also practices law back in Chatham. Senator Hurt will be a very busy person in 2010. He is now running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from the Fifth Congressional District, a seat that was once held by President (and Hampden-Sydney founding trustee) James Madison. Senator Hurt's Senate District composes approximately a third of the Fifth Congressional District, which includes Hampden-Sydney College.
Senator Hurt believes that Hampden-Sydney's greatest strength is its faculty. "I loved our studies of the Constitution, American history, political science, and economics." He also praises the effectiveness of the Rhetoric department. Regarding Hampden-Sydney College, Senator Hurt had a message for both students and alumnus. "To every student, I would simply beg you to use your time at Hampden-Sydney
to the fullest. I know first-hand that it is easy to take this for granted. You will not likely have such another opportunity in this lifetime." For his fellow alumni, Senator Hurt suggests that "leadership and service is the calling for each of us-no matter what course our lives take."