Among the many awards presented at final convocation, The Mettauer Award for Excellence in Research went to Dr. John C. Coombs (right), associate professor of history. Between work done before joining the faculty in 2007 and work done since then, he has established himself as a well-regarded scholar in his field of early American history. His scholarly pursuits focus on the 18th-century history of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay region. An examination of his curriculum vitæ reveals an impressive list of conference presentations and invited addresses as well as print publications. Just within the last year he published an edited volume entitled Early Modern Virginia: Reconsidering the Old Dominion, in which he contributed a chapter, had two other papers published, and gave three conference presentations and invited addresses. Another book, The Rise of Virginia Slavery, has been accepted for publication. Finally, he maintains an involvement in historical archæology.
Andrew Nance '12 received the Kearfott Stone Memorial Award for outstanding contributions in music. Andrew has diligently practiced his piano during his four years at Hampden-Sydney, performed at numerous events, and even recorded his own album of piano classics.
The inaugural McClintock Award for Visual Arts was presented to Daniel Frank '12. The new award recognizes the contributions to the College of Dr. Richard C. McClintock, who is retiring this summer after a 37-year career as a classics professor and director of publications.
The Rhetoric Department recognizes particularly good class essays and speeches from each level of the curriculum. This year, Nathaniel Stewart Shepherd '14 was selected from the Rhetoric 210 public speaking class for his ironic presentation "The Negative Effects of Single-Sex Education."
Chris Griggs '12 scored an impressive trifecta at Convocation, receiving The Grace and Hassell Simpson Prize for excellence in English, The Sallie Wright Harrison Poetry Award, and The Shelley A. Marshall Short Story Award. Though he was recognized for his story "Harvest Celebration," other works of his, such as the story "Vivarium," can be found in the latest issue of the student literary journal The Garnet. Griggs was editor of the 2011 Garnet.