Alumni News

Bill Howard '77, president of Hampden-Sydney Alumni Association

As we enter a new year, I am writing to provide you an update on the H-SC Alumni Association. Fifteen months ago, we began to formalize many of our alumni programs and restructure the Alumni Association. We have undertaken this work with a desire to better serve and engage you in the life of Hampden-Sydney, and I’m eager to report on our progress. 

The purpose of the Alumni Association is to connect alumni with the College, the faculty, the students, and each other. It is our goal to maintain an open line of communication between the College and H-SC alumni, to represent alumni in our work with the College, and to promote the general welfare of the College and the Alumni Association.

To date, we have accomplished the following:

  1. Established a formal board of directors for the Alumni Association, comprising seven officers, 21 board members, a trustee representative, a faculty representative, and a student representative. Directors serve three-year staggered terms. Alumni representation currently ranges from the Class of 1970 through the Class of 2010 with members representing 15 different alumni chapters.
  2. Updated the Alumni Association bylaws outlining the purpose and duties of the association and board members
  3. Developed an Alumni Chapter playbook outlining a step-by-step process for running successful alumni chapters and events

Projects and initiatives currently under consideration by the Alumni Board include:

  1. Decide how to broaden our scope beyond geographic clubs to include common interest and professional networking groups for H-SC alumni (such as entrepreneurs, attorneys, educators, fly fishermen, etc.)
  2. Develop an annual Alumni Leadership Summit to provide an opportunity for alumni volunteer leaders to convene on campus for training and collaboration
  3. Establish an H-SC National Day of Service during which alumni would volunteer in their local communities in groups or individually
  4. Study how to effectively formalize a mentoring program between alumni and students 
  5. “Support a Tiger”: establish a program to promote alumni-owned businesses and services
  6. Develop an Alumni Speakers Bureau that would enable faculty to call on alumni to share our expertise in the classroom
  7. Determine how best to upgrade the video conferencing and streaming capabilities of the College for the benefit of the students, faculty, alumni, and trustees
  8. Explore with H-SC faculty continuing educational opportunities for Hampden-Sydney alumni, either on campus or remotely.

We are considering all of these ideas and more, and we look forward to many great opportunities for engagement in 2015. We also want to hear from you. What are your ideas? What would you like to see your Alumni Association do? How would you like to get involved? 

In January, we will welcome James Barton ’06 back to campus as our new director of alumni relations, and we look forward to working with him to move the Alumni Association forward. Increased alumni participation will greatly benefit the College—your College—and we hope you will participate in this important upcoming work.

When asked “Why Hampden-Sydney?” prospective students or their parents will often mention the strength of the alumni network. The alumni network is one of the crown jewels of Hampden-Sydney College, and each of you play a critical role in the maintenance of this asset. Stay connected with your classmates and professors. Just because we have graduated doesn’t mean we should forget the individuals who were critical to our growth and helped mold our character. Hampden-Sydney is not a “four years and done” experience, but a lifelong connection, a brotherhood. Take the time to reach out and reconnect. 

Reconnecting may be as simple as an e-mail, a phone call, or lunch. Take the call from a student looking for information on internships or occupations. Patronize alumni businesses and promote your fellow alumni. 

I call on alumni to put an oar in the water to help move our boat forward. As with all families, there will be times when we disagree with each other. We should never lose sight of the big picture, however, of upholding the values of this great institution that we call home, well after graduation. What can we do to make it better? What can we do to help a fellow brother, professor, student, and the College? 

Don’t be a spectator—participate. 

Go Tigers!

Bill Howard ’77
President, Hampden-Sydney Alumni Association