The race for the presidency and the election of 2012 were the topics of this year's Summer College, held on campus June 1-3. The keynote address on Friday night was given by the Honorable Gerald L. Baliles (above at left with President Christopher Howard), the 65th Governor of Virginia and the Director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. The following two days were filled with insight and expertise on the election process and the current state of politics in America. Attendees heard from a host of Hampden-Sydney professors, including Jim Simms, John Eastby, Ken Lehman, Roger Barrus, David Marion, and Jim Pontuso.
Jim Young '86, an attorney for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation who recently argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, and Dr. Celia Carroll Jones of the government department discussed the role of Congress and the courts in the next election. Later, Chris Cooper '93 of the strategic communications firm SKDKnickerbocker joined Drs. Mike Utzinger and Matthew Bowman to dissect the presidential candidates and their chances for victory in November.
The highlight of the weekend for many present was the Saturday afternoon talk by President Emeritus Samuel V. Wilson, "Presidents I Have Known"-although he admitted it should have been titled "Presidents I Have Observed," as his contact with some of them was rather limited. He started with Franklin Roosevelt and continued through George H. W. Bush. His recollections were both fascinating and insightful.
Preparations are already underway for next year's Summer College. Make plans to be there.