On The Hill

Opening Shot

William OutlawThe Hampden-Sydney Clay Target Club has been practicing at its refurbished sporting clays course just a few miles off campus. Led by its new coach Elizabeth Lanier of the Richmond-based Lanier Shooting Sports, the team was recently honing its skills for upcoming competitions with the Association of College Unions international (ACUi).

Bulldozers and bush hogs cleared more land and expanded the shooting area on a 100-acre piece of property just past Granny B's Market on Abilene Road. The team now has better shooting stations, more than a dozen clay target traps, and varying terrain elevations, which have all helped create a diverse range of target presentations for the competitors.

Appalachian Presentation at the Tiger Inn

The legendary luthier Wayne Henderson visited the Tiger inn with Helen White and Herb Key this past December to hold a small concert for the Hampden-Sydney community. They played mostly early 20th-century, Appalachian-style music to a healthy crowd of students and friends. The old-fashioned tunes once contributed to a class of music that would later influence bluegrass and country greats such as Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, and Loretta Lynn.

Professional luthiers build and repair stringed instruments, but Henderson's guitars, mandolins, fiddles, and other pieces are renowned for their superior tone, volume, and resonance. He has made guitars for Eric Clapton, Zac Brown, and many other artists in country and folk music. Doc Watson, the late seven-time Grammy Award winner, called his Henderson mandolin among the best he'd ever played.


About 60 attendees were treated to the Virginian's "lightning-fast pinch-picking" style of play. The group's music sounded much like bluegrass, although without the typical banjo. "it's about as American as you can get," as White said. At one point Henderson had everyone singing along to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," which he had once played with Zac Brown at Fenway Park.

In between songs about 90-mph freight trains and life in the mountains, Henderson and friends kept the crowd entertained with some playful anecdotes. Good music, a few jokes, and a bit of Appalachian culture made for an entertaining evening in the Tiger Inn.

Faculty Replaces Western Culture

At its February 9, 2015, meeting, the faculty had a split-vote in favor of replacing the freshman and sophomore Western Culture program with a new Core Cultures course. Starting in the fall of 2016, the three required semesters of Western Culture will be condensed into two semesters, and the third semester of Western Culture will be replaced with a Global Cultures class.

The current Western Culture course examines our political, economic, and cultural roots and achievements in three segments: from pre-history until 900 A.D.; from 900 to 1800 A.D.; and from 1800 A.D. to the present. Typical texts are Plato's Apology, Madison's Federalist 10, and Machiavelli's The Prince. Usual topics include the rise of Athens, the Protestant Reformation, and the industrial Revolution, among others, according to the academic catalogue.
The condensed and revised two-semester series on Western Culture may include similar texts and themes, although many topics will receive less attention than previously.

The time periods for the two classes will be from pre-history until 1500 A.D., and then from 1500 A.D. until the present. The new course aims "to give a perspective on the contemporary world through an exploration of the West's cultural legacy," according to the "Core Cultures Program Proposal," which outlined the changes.

After completing the two semesters of the revised Western Culture course, students will be required to take one of two new Global Cultures classes. There will be less consideration given to particular texts and more emphasis on comparing "hierarchal structures, cultural frameworks, and regional and global networks." Instead of focusing on individual civilizations, professors will present comparative studies on certain themes, such as "Ordering Society," "Reacting to Modernity," and "Globalization." Within each theme, professors will discuss regions such as East and Central Asia, pre- Columbian Americas, or Sub-Saharan Africa.

Some of the listed examples of "representative texts that might be utilized for the [global] course" include the Senegambian stone circles, Al-Mukhtar's Tarikh al-fattash (Timbuktu Chronicles), Sima Guang's Zizhi Tongjian (Comprehensive Mirror), and Ortega y Gasset's The Revolt of the Masses.

The program will undergo review in the 2018-19 academic year.

On Men and Marrow

Sometimes, the situation makes the man. Brian Collins '15-who has never even donated blood-recently decided to donate his bone marrow to someone who truly needs it.

Last fall, Hampden-Sydney held its third "Get Swabbed" drive to help match potential bone marrow donors with cancer patients. The likelihood of being a preliminary match is less than 1%. Among preliminary matches, fewer than 12% can actually donate bone marrow. Brian knew his chances were slim, but he thought he might as well take part.

Brian Collins
"Right before winter break," he said, "they called me and asked, ‘You're a preliminary match. Do you want to be a bone marrow donor?' it took me about 10 minutes to decide. i thought, ‘This is an actual person. i have been matched to a person who has cancer.' i couldn't say ‘no.'

As an economics major, Brian was sure to weigh the risks against the benefits. He said, "Dr. [Anthony] Carilli tells us that economics isn't all about money; this is a great example of what he's talking about. i saw quickly how the benefits of being a bone marrow donor outweigh any risks."

And there are some risks, despite many improvements to the procedure. Brian says only 25% of bone marrow donors undergo an invasive procedure. Most of them, including Brian, receive a series of injections that stimulate stem cell growth. The stem cells are then harvested in a procedure similar to donating white blood cells.

"I couldn't pass it up," he said. "I get more and more excited about being a donor every time I talk to someone about it. It's not really an accomplishment, but i am still very proud."

He has a right to be proud. His contribution could save the life of a complete stranger.

Real World Guidance

Staff in the Career Education Office hosted the third annual Professional Development institute (PDi) event this past January. Recent college graduates often have little experience, few connections, and scant prospects for employment, and so successful alumni and other members of the Hampden-Sydney community stepped in to give lectures and personal advice to help the aspiring professionals. About 42 students nearing graduation attended the meetings, which focused on how to network, how to interview, and how to negotiate one's salary, among other topics. There were even discussions on dining etiquette and how to dress properly.

President Christopher Howard led an early discussion on "purposeful networking," or branding oneself in professional circles. With his experience, Dr. Howard was the impetus behind the first PDi in 2011, and based on student feedback after the two-day event, his lecture was full of insightful and valuable tips-or "all of my gems," as he put it.

Christopher Howard"Cultivate your interests," Howard emphasized. Know your topics and be able to discuss them with others. "People want to talk to interesting people." Be clear and confident, Howard said; be positive, and maintain a delicate balance between politeness and pushiness. Read the newspaper to discuss current events with others. "Don't be flaky," he said, and avoid unwarranted overconfidence in conversation.

Students later held mock interviews in groups to understand and compare different interviewing styles they can expect to face. Alumni Bradley Gray '82, Alan Hiss '92, Frank Roach '73, Zachary Robbins '05, and Bryce Auker '09 interviewed the students and provided feedback on their performances. Those alumni led other discussions on whether to attend graduate school, how to market one's liberal arts education, and "surviving the first day" of a professional career. Benjamin Fry '03 delivered a talk on personal strategies for maintaining one's financial stability.

Students and alumni exchanged business cards and practiced networking in social gatherings. Straightened backs, solid eye contact, and firm handshakes gave the students a final taste of what to expect once they pass through the College gates-and with their PDi training, they'll likely have an edge over the competition.

Need a Job?

Tiger Connections is an online job-search database for Hampden-Sydney alumni and students. There are hundreds of Hampden-Sydney-exclusive job postings on the website, as well as thousands of other jobs posted through the nationwide NaceLink network. The Office of Career Education often receives job openings from alumni business owners and others who seek Hampden-Sydney alumni for their employment positions.

Job seekers need simply to fill out their background information and upload their résumés to begin their searches. Alumni can upload multiple, tailored résumés for particular jobs. From teaching positions to financial advisor slots, the website lists a wide range of openings suitable for H-SC graduates. After all, "You can do anything with a degree from Hampden-Sydney."

Visit www.tigerconnections.com to get started. if you have any questions, call or e-mail the Office of Career Education at (434) 223-6106 or career@hsc.edu.

Davis Fellow Update

The Davis Fellowship is Hampden-Sydney's only four-year, full-tuition scholarship. It was endowed in 2002 by Norwood Davis '63 and his wife, Marguerite.

While at the College, the Davis Fellow must "[maintain] a well-integrated role in Hampden-Sydney's academic, cultural, and extra-curricular life." He must also demonstrate leadership in the "classroom, on the playing field, in community affairs, in student government, or in other areas of campus life." By accepting the award, the recipient is naturally under significant pressure and scrutiny while on The Hill.

The 2014 Davis Fellow is freshman Guilherme "Gui" Guimarães '18 (left), who emigrated from Brazil in his junior year of high school and settled in Charlottesville. When he sat down for his first day at the Miller School of Albemarle in 2012, he spoke only Portuguese and a little Spanish. He recalls sitting in class just over two years ago "and not understanding anything that the teacher was saying."

Within months Gui became fluent in English. When he decided to pursue both academics and sports at an American college, he applied only to Hampden-Sydney. Since arriving on campus he has been elected to the Student Honor Court as one of two representatives from his class. Most recently, he was selected as a resident advisor for the upcoming academic year. Standing 6 feet 8 inches tall, he plays forward on the College's varsity basketball team.

He is also in the Wilson Center's Freshman Leadership Program, and according to his advisor, retired Lt. Col. Rucker Snead '81, Gui "is one of the top students in the freshman class. He asks the right questions, listens, seeks help as needed, implements the advice, and excels in the classroom and on campus." in his first semester, Gui earned a 3.7 GPA.

Clearly a scholar and a gentleman, Gui wanted to ensure that the Davis family and others on the scholarship board know how grateful he is for their support. He probably would not have come to Hampden-Sydney without their generosity, and he believes he will leave as a better man because of it. "They changed my life," he said.

50 Years Ago

The following item was printed in the April 1965 issue of The Record.

A Patrick Henry Gavel

A gavel made of walnut wood grown at Red Hill, Patrick Henry's last home before his heavenly one, was given to Hampden-Sydney last February 27. Mrs. Mabel Oliver Bellwood, custodian at Red Hill, and Judge R. Page Morton '23, a member of the Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation's board of directors, presented the gavel to President Taylor Reveley.

In his informal remarks, Judge Morton said: ... "It is fitting and appropriate that a gift should come from the home of this former trustee of the College. ... [Patrick Henry] spearheaded America's independence. He was blessed with the attributes that make great statesmen-a brilliant memory, a logical mind, quick wit, and slowness to anger. His fame as America's greatest orator remains unchallenged. His skill and ability to stir men with the spoken word were without equal."

Scouts on Campus

On February 28, 2015, Hampden-Sydney College hosted the fourth annual Boy Scouts Merit Badge Weekend event for about 275 Scouts from across Central Virginia.

Over the years, the College has offered training in merit badges for American Business, American Heritage, Astronomy, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Chemistry, Crime Prevention, Dentistry, Digital Technology, Electricity, Electronics, Fire Safety, Forestry, Genealogy, Law, Photography, Salesmanship, Scouting Heritage, Sports, and Weather.

Scouts at Hampden Sydney

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the Farmville community taught the classes. Students in the Alpha Chi Sigma fraternity led the Chemistry, Electronics, and Astronomy merit badge courses, and brothers of the Chi Phi fraternity help with registration and check-in. They also guided the Scouts around campus throughout the day.

According to Randy Reed '82, Eagle Scout and coordinator for the event, one parent admitted, "We didn't know anything about Hampden-Sydney before today; but now, when it comes time for our son to look at colleges, it will definitely be on our radar."

New Faculty

This year five assistant professors joined the Hampden-Sydney faculty. Eleven visiting professors and instructors also fulfilled one-year contracts for the 2014-15 academic year. Two of the visitors will remain at least through the fall of 2015.

Dr. Michael S. Allen, assistant professor of religion, studied South Asian religions at Harvard University and taught for the Harvard College Writing Program.
Dr. Guy F. Burnett, assistant professor of government and foreign affairs, studied American politics and public law at Claremont Graduate University and taught at Central Texas College and the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Dr. Abigail T. Horne, assistant professor of English, studied 19th and early 20th-century American literature, African-American literature, and American film at Washington University in St. Louis. She taught at the same institution in the English Department, the African-American Studies Department, the Film and Media Studies Program, and in the Writing Program.
Dr. Robert P. Irons '00, assistant professor of classics, studied comparative literature and classics at the University of South Carolina, where he taught Greek, Latin, italian, and world literature. He earned an M.A. at St. John's College, Annapolis, and earned a B.A. at Hampden-Sydney in 2000.
Dr. Helena K.W. von Rueden, assistant professor of fine arts and director of choral activities, studied vocal performance and choral conducting at the University of California, Santa Barbara. There she conducted the UCSB Women's and Men's Choruses and taught musicianship. Dr. von Rueden has taught at the University of Richmond and maintains an active vocal performance career in oratorio, choral, and operatic repertoire.

Visiting Professor
Dr. Robert E. Frank, visiting associate professor of rhetoric, studied speech communication and rhetorical studies at the University of Georgia, Wake Forest University, and the University of Richmond. Most recently he was the executive director of international affairs at Longwood University, where he also was an associate professor of communication.

Visiting Instructor
Anca M. Glont, visiting instructor in Western culture, studied history at University of illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She taught history at the University of illinois at Urbana- Champaign.

Quotes to Consider

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle 

"The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true gentleman." -Robert E. Lee

"The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight." -Theodore Roosevelt