Teaching the lesson of philanthropy


by Spencer Conover ’10, Assistant Director of Annual Giving

philanthropy“We make a living from what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” These words from Winston Churchill have become a mantra among students on The Hill. In the last couple of years, our students have reinvigorated their dedication to public service, and through the efforts of the three-year-old Philanthropy Week campaign, the commitment to service and duty to alma mater has become a cornerstone of the students’ culture of giving back.

Philanthropy Week is a student-led effort to educate students on the role that philanthropic giving plays in the life of the College. By providing information like how the College’s budget functions, where scholarship money comes from, and how Hampden-Sydney is able to grow thanks to major gifts, students are learning the importance of giving back as alumni. During the week of September 26 through October 1, a team of thirty students set out across campus to talk face-to-face with their peers about the importance of giving to the College and other philanthropic causes. Alexander Cartwright ’13 (seated) was Philanthrophy Week chairman; Beckham Stanley ’13 (standing, left), Richard Pantele ’13 (standing, right), and Tarun Sharma ’15 were vice chairmen of the event.

The week’s events kicked off with the public announcement of the Class of 2012 Scholarship in honor of Jason M. Ferguson ’96, director of admissions. The class of 2012 chose to honor Mr. Ferguson for the personal impact he has had on them and for his fifteen-year career in the Admissions Office. Taylor Pierce ’12, campaign chairman, remarked, “Many of my classmates wouldn’t be at Hampden-Sydney if it weren’t for Jason. So many people are thankful that Jason helped them get to Hampden-Sydney.” The seniors have set out to raise $5,000, which will fund two scholarships to be given to students next fall.

In just one week, 35% of the student body made a gift to the College. Nearly 40% of fraternity members made a gift during Philanthropy Week, including 100% of the Kappa Sigma brothers. Athletes also performed quite well, reaching 35% giving participation; the basketball team delivered a slam dunk with 100% participation.