Reunion Weekend 2015

James Barton '06, alumni relations director

Graduate Toast

Minutes after the final member of the Class of 2015 walked across the stage on Venable lawn, I was honored to offer a champagne toast to the graduates, welcoming them to the Alumni Association: "To celebrate the bonds formed, the knowledge gained, and the principles lived by these last four years, may these serve as guides as you continue to explore and discover what you were born to do." From these recent graduates to members of the Patrick Henry Society and beyond, as the new alumni relations director I will use those ideas as cornerstones in building the College's relationship with you and your former classmates.

For some, this letter serves as an introduction to the Alumni Relations office, its functions and duties, and the increasing value I hope it will add for Hampden-Sydney's many stakeholders. It is an honor to serve, and I look forward to working with you in the near future.

My aim for the Alumni Relations office is to create and support the mechanisms by which alumni connect with the College and contribute to her vibrancy and longevity-all inextricably tied to student experience and outcomes. The principal organization for alumni involvement is the Alumni Association, which is led by the Hampden-Sydney Alumni Board.

The Board is a body of volunteers focused mainly on the areas of admissions, career services, and development. Its organizational structure and membership can be found on the newly redesigned website, which serves as a platform for all alumni to become informed and involved.

Internally, my office works to maintain productive partnerships with offices around the campus, serving to synchronize alumni programs with their operations.

Immediate priorities for Alumni Relations include the establishment of strong leadership teams in key Regional Alumni Chapters, the development of our first Professional Affinity Groups, and the recruitment of alumni interested in providing internship opportunities and career mentorship for current students.

I look forward to engaging you in one or more of these areas during the year ahead. With your participation in alumni activities, we can build a coalition of Hampden-Sydney men that will strengthen our College, our communities, and help spread the values and principles we learned and refined during our time on the Hill.

Thank you.

James Barton '06
Director of Alumni Relations