Convocation, class identity, and community were the themes of the fourth annual C Day activities August 25, 2015. It marked the opening of the new school year, when faculty, staff, students, and friends gathered at Everett Stadium to listen to words of encouragement and recognize student academic achievements. After President Christopher Howard administered the oaths of office to all student government officers, students and alumni spoke to the
crowd. Student Body President Matthew R. Goodrich '16 started the morning by reading the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling, a work of paternal advice and stoic determination. It was an appropriate piece for students about to embark on another year of intellectual and moral development. "And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!' " he said. The stirring words from the English Nobel laureate ended with the fitting line: "Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And-which is more-you'll be a Man, my son."
Following Provost and Dean of Faculty Dr. Dennis Stevens's presentation of awards for academic excellence, Maurice A. Jones '86 spoke on the positive influence the people at the College had on his life and ambitions. Jones is the Virginia secretary of commerce and trade, among his other notable positions. He spoke of the College's help in getting him a Rhodes scholarship. He also told of the time he accidentally crashed his Volkswagen into a forgivingCollege trustee's Mercedes while he was a student. "The trustee said, ‘Don't worry about it. Do you need a ride?' This place is special," he said. "The relationships you build here are some of the greatest advantages you will have."
Speaker Peter J. Chiglinsky '16 spent the summer with the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team. His unusual internship gave him access to front-line operators and combat veterans who provided him with valuable life lessons. He spoke at length on fear, how it affects even HRT senior team leaders, and how the powerful emotion can either cripple or motivate young men. "You have two ways to handle the uncertainty you face," he said. "Or maybe you have just one."
The four classes were then led to separate buildings for class identity discussions. Thad Shelly '75 spoke to the senior class on "My Next Chapter," Tulane Patterson '78 discussed "The Legacy of the H-SC Man" with the junior class, Andy Freitas '92 gave a talk to the sophomores titled, "I Want to be on Wikipedia," and Tim Beatty '97 spoke to the freshmen in Johns Auditorium.
Following a community picnic of barbeque and chicken on Chalgrove Point, freshmen were taken to the Moton Museum and High Bridge State Park in Farmville to learn more about local history. Faculty were available to discuss majors with students at the Commons, and alumni, employers, and graduate schools led a career and networking fair in Settle Hall.
Hampden-Sydney faculty members Drs. Julia Palmer, Saranna Thornton, and Alfonso Varona took 24 students to live with local host families for five weeks in Argentina this summer. Each student took two courses from a listing of
six that included the Economics of the Wine Industry, Latin American Economic History and Development, Spanish 201 and 202, and two upper-level Spanish courses.
Students' daily schedules typically consisted of morning classes from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., including lunch, and afternoons and evenings spent studying at hosts' homes or socializing with locals. Students took field trips to wineries, to a meat processing plant, and they sat down with a local wine entrepreneur and finance professionals. Field trips included mountain climbing, horseback riding, skiing, and a trip to a thermal spa. Some went to Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere.
"It was a fantastic way for students to study subjects in places where those subjects are part of daily life," said Dr. Thornton. "Students who live with families for five weeks learned a lot about the culture-it's not like staying in a hotel, travelling on a tour bus, and simply interacting with a closed group. It was a learning laboratory rather than just a classroom."
On the eve of the publication of this issue of The Record, the Hampden-Sydney community was informed that College President Christopher Howard was selected as the new president of Robert Morris University, a private college in western Pennsylvania. He will start there February 1, 2016. In the next issue of this magazine we will take a complete look at the Howard years since his appointment in 2009.
Robert Morris University was founded in 1921 and enrolls more than 4,000 undergraduates, more than 1,000 graduate students, and it offers more than 60 bachelor's degree programs and more than 20 master's and doctoral programs. The Hampden-Sydney community wishes President Howard the best of luck in the coming months.
On June 28, 2015, the College held its first Shelton Leadership Challenge. Thirty-two young men took part in a five-day summer residential experience during which they explored the cornerstones of values-based leadership-honesty, integrity, compassion, diversity, and social responsibility-through problem-solving and team-building activities, ropes courses, and service projects. The camp was structured so that participants had to work together throughout physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding tasks.
The College runs the program through the Wilson Center for Leadership. To be considered, applicants had to be rising juniors or seniors in high school, or a rising college freshman, with a GPA of a 3.0 or higher. The majority of participants were high school students, but eight were incoming Hampden-Sydney freshmen.
Counselor and student Taylor Anctil '16 said, "Hampden-Sydney focuses on forming good men and good citizens. The Shelton Challenge is a means to introduce participants to that, and the program's activities show those concepts in effect."
Here are a handful of the students' activities from the summer of 2015:
Dallas Negaard '18 and Max Dash '18 worked at a Young Life camp in Saranac Lake, New York. Through the Young Life program at H-SC and Longwood, the two worked as lifeguards, helping high school kids with kayaks, canoes, and other events, all centered around the Gospel of Jesus.
Brad Chester '17 worked on the campaign of Delegate Kathleen Murphy of the 34th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. His duties included fundraising, voter contact, and policy research and formation.
Robert "Bobby" George '17 completed a law internship and then trained to become an infantryman at Fort Benning, Georgia. His Hampden-Sydney brothers wrote him letters of support during his military training.
Robert Jackson '18 spent the summer doing an Army Research Office funded research internship at the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center (Marshall University) in Huntington, West Virginia. His research focused on DNA nanotechnology.
Alexander Abbott '17 worked with Elliot Professor of Philosophy Dr. Marc Hight on a summer research project addressing the assumption that "materialism has corrupted our understanding of the Holy Trinity."
Joseph Lantagne '16 interned at the United Nations' International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) in New York City. He researched for them and attended various meetings and conferences at the United Nations.
Zachary Martin '17 did biology research at Hampden-Sydney this summer, and then he shadowed Dr. Ted Chambers '83 (below, l.), an interventional radiologist and the medical director of his private practice in Silver Spring, Maryland. Chambers let Zachary stay with him and his family for two weeks.
Jared Arntzen '17 and James Woodward '15 went to Cambodia on a mission trip. It was Jared's third trip, and at an orphanage this year the two taught the kids how to play lacrosse.
Tim Morgan '17 studied and interned in Dakar, Senegal, in Francophone West Africa. With the help of the public service program, French department, and study abroad office, he found a month-long program facilitated by Washington University in St. Louis.
Charles "Ashby" Neterer '17 interned with the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), a Christian think tank that reports on issues concerning the church. He wrote articles, tabled conferences, and managed data spreadsheets, bolstering his rhetorical, interpersonal, and analytical skills.
Zach Miksovic '17 was a counselor at Triple C Camp in Charlottesville. He worked with staff from South Africa, England, Poland, and New Zealand, among others countries.
R. Ben Noftsinger '17 and his Sigma Alpha Epsilon brothers Mason Phipps '17 and Jack Tavenner '17 spent the summer in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Mason and Ben worked for Sands Whitewater rafting (below). Jack worked for Dave Hansen Whitewater, driving shuttles. The three spent time fishing in the Snake, Green, and Teton rivers.
Steven Ponce '17 is a member of the Army Reserve, and for the month of June he and his unit ran a training exercise at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. He met soldiers from countries including Canada, Britain, Germany, and Kosovo, among others.
Carter Speidel '17 took an internship at the Music Farm, a main music venue in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. He gained experience in the field of arts management, a career path he hopes to pursue after graduation.
Caleb Swiney '16 restored and learned how to ride a 1974 Kawasaki motorcycle last summer, and this summer he took a road trip on his new 2013 Honda CBR. He travelled over a thousand miles from his home in Dallas, Georgia, including along the Moonshiner 28, a highway that runs through the mountains of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Peter Yukich '18 worked as a counselor for two weeks at Carolina Bible Camp in Mocksville, North Carolina. He dealt with disciplinary issues, tried to cultivate friendships between campers, and wrestled with how best to manage a throng of energetic youngsters.
On August 7, 2015, Hampden-Sydney signed an agreement with HBX, Harvard Business School's digital learning initiative. This agreement will reserve seats and facilitate financial aid for Hampden-Sydney students and alumni who enroll in HBX CORe, a 150-hour online course package. The programs include economics, financial accounting, and business analytics: "The most essential things you need to know to get started in your career," according to the Harvard website. Harvard Business School professors teach the curriculum through videos and interactive programs tailored to liberal arts students and graduates.Hampden-Sydney graduate and Assistant Athletic Director Davis Yake '08 recently completed the second offering in the program. "The HBX program is an excellent tool for anyone looking to prepare for business school," he said.
The Record is asking for pictures of alumni and their biggest bucks of the 2015-16 season. Entries from father-son hunts are also accepted. Please measure racks according to Boone and Crockett standards. E-mail your picture, total measurement, and brief description of the hunt to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. As a side note, alumni are encouraged to donate unused meat to Hunters for the Hungry.