General Sam: A Biography of Lieutenant General Sam Vaughan Wilson
A Morning With Alexander Dyer, retired CEO of the BOC Group
By Trey Price ’14, Wilson Center Fellow
On November 5th, Hampden Sydney College hosted Alexander P. Dyer, retired CEO of the BOC group, for a talk on leadership with the President’s Leadership Council. Dyer explained to students that leaders are made. We each are granted opportunities to make ourselves leaders, as long as we respect those whom we lead. Mr. Dyer, who is a U.S. Military Academy graduate, argued that the military did not teach him how to manipulate those around him. Rather, it instilled in him the ability to motivate people. In some cases, Dyer argued, you must separate yourself from those who slow the progress down. By having a clear vision, depending on an open line of communication with your team, and granting those around you the ability to express their views on issues, a person can be successful in any field we enter. Mr. Dyer concluded his talk with an evaluation of his own performance as a CEO, remarking that by trusting those he worked with, he was able to understand what leadership truly is, and give those around him the chance to become leaders.
Alex Dyer’s admiration for Hampden-Sydney comes from his grandson’s recent graduation from the college. His son-in-law is also a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College.
The College’s Shadows Reach Far Into the Past
By Trey Price ’14, Wilson Center Fellow
On November 10th, the Wilson Center hosted Dr. Joseph Lane ’90, for a Founder’s Day Program in celebration of the birthday of Hampden-Sydney College. Dr. Lane, who is currently the Director of the College Honors Program at Emory and Henry College, reflected on his years at Hampden-Sydney and the history of the college. He used a metaphor of trees casting shadows over students to emphasize the lasting effect the college has had on its students throughout history. Using research and writings from Dr. Brinkley’s book, On This Hill, he described the beginnings of Hampden-Sydney. Figures such as Samuel Stanhope Smith and Patrick Henry shaped the college as it gained momentum, instilling the value of thought and reason in the first class of students. While the date of the college’s inception remains a lively debate, Dr. Lane finds it to be just one of the many factors that signify how long Hampden-Sydney has transformed the lives, of students who come into contact with its shadows.
Veterans Day 2013
On November 10, Colonel Greg Eanes, USAF (Ret) was the guest speaker for our commemoration ceremony at Memorial Gates. Greg spoke of our long “Garnet and Grey line” and the roles our Hampden-Sydney men have played in defense of our nation over the past 238 years. His full speech...
Cadet Max Zbinden '15 accepted an Army ROTC Scholarship and was contracted into the US Army on November 11. He has decided to pursue a commission as an Army Officer and serve our nation upon graduation from Hampden-Sydney. We continue a tradition on our campus with the ceremony at the Memorial Gates. Cadet Zbinden took an oath to support and defend our Constitution among the names of our alums who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation.
Wilson Center's Annual Trip to the Hill
By Graves Anthony '16
The Wilson Center took its annual trip to Washington, DC on November 12th. While there, many lectures were held at the Longworth US House Office Building. The lectures covered topics ranging from the elections in Virginia and New Jersey by Chris Cooper ’93 to national security challenges in the aftermath of the Snowden affair with Dr. Carter Morris ’66, William Marshall ’72, and Lewis Robinson ’91. In the afternoon, the group met with alumni who are currently working on the hill for senators, congressmen, or national parties. During lunch, a group of pre-law students went to the Supreme Court to meet James Young ’86 for a tour of the court. Due to an unscheduled afternoon session, the group was not able to tour the court and instead went to the Library of Congress. In celebration of the anniversary, the Library had original copies of the Gettysburg Address on display. After a long day on the Hill, the trip finished with dinner at the Capitol Hill Club. Following dinner, Adam Lavier ’97 and George Albright ’74 gave their “reflections on the state of the national economy."
The World Is Watching
By Henrik Fogh Rasmussen ‘03
The recent U.S. government shutdown and last-minute debt ceiling deal in Congress have left observers across the globe wondering loudly if the United States is a power in decline. After all, if America’s leaders cannot responsibly manage the nation’s finances, can the rest of the world count on American leadership on the world stage?
The truth is that much of the foreign rhetoric about American decline is an attempt by foreign elites to deflect attention away from their own economic and political challenges, which dwarf the problems of the United States.
Europe is struggling with chronically high unemployment and a rapidly aging population. The populations of Russia, China and Brazil are actually projected to be smaller in 2100 than they are today. Meanwhile, the United States, despite its problems, continues to attract the best and brightest from around the world. The American population is expected to grow to more than 450 million by 2100.
However, perception matters. During the Cold War, Soviet propagandists successfully undermined American power around the world with false tales of American decline and Soviet ascendency. If the perception of American decline is allowed to spread unchecked, American interests will suffer. Enemies will be emboldened, allies will hesitate, and foreign investors will become anxious.
The President and the Congress would do well to remember that when they debate the America’s challenges, the world is watching. The greatest communicators of the Cold War, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, understood this fact. These two presidents were careful to always view even serious problems through a prism of fundamental optimism about America’s future.
An important cause for optimism in the current situation is the fact that American politics was deliberately designed to be tough and competitive. As James Madison explained in Federalist 10, the best safeguard against faction is a large republic with so many competing interests that no single interest group can gain a permanent upper hand. Perhaps, then, instead of loudly complaining about gridlock in Washington, we should all show greater appreciation for a political system that allows for a multitude of perspectives. In the end, the American political system tends to produce more informed decisions and better outcomes than any other system in the world. Let us make sure that the world understands the fundamental strength of Madison’s republic.
Henrik Fogh Rasmussen is the founder and president of Rasmussen Public Affairs, a consulting firm focused on corporate statesmanship.
Dr. Curtis Smith Named to U.N. International Civil Service Commission
Dr. Curtis J. Smith, Myers Professor and Director of the Freshman Leadership Program at Hampden-Sydney College, has been appointed by the United Nations General Assembly, at its 68th plenary meeting, as a member of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) for a four-year term beginning January 1, 2014.
Kingston P. Rhodes, Chairman of ICSC, wrote, “…we look forward to benefiting from the rich background and experience which you bring to the Commission.”
Smith served as director of the Federal Executive Institute (FEI) in Charlottesville from 1994 to 1998. He holds adjunct faculty positions at Virginia Tech and Indiana University. Prior to his position at FEI, he held several posts with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and was appointed to the presidential rank of distinguished executive under the Senior Executive Service. He has a Ph.D. in English Literature from Ohio State University and was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 1998. He has been with Hampden-Sydney since 2000.
Holden McLemore ’16 was recently featured in a hometown magazine. Holden is a graduate of the Freshmen Leadership Program and currently in the Public Service Program at the Wilson Center. The story: Wake Forest Teen Well on His Way to a Life of Public Service
Arley Morelock ’13 and Joshua Gaskill ’15 were recently inducted into Omnicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society for college men and women.
Britt McKenzie ’13 is working as a legislative correspondent and legislative aide for Rep Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), covering social issues, and matters pertaining to domestic issues.
Thomas Calderwood ’12 has been accepted into the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University where he will pursue his MA.
James Hoffman '10 was promoted to Government Affairs Manager at Davis Consultants, Inc., which focuses on government affairs, legislative strategy and media relations for some of Virginia's leading business interests.
Cabell Barrow ’07, a third year law student at UNC School of Law, has recently accepted a position with Clement and Wheatley in Danville, VA as an associate attorney. Until he begins his new position, he is working as an extern with Judge Fred Morrison at the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings.
Rusty Foster ‘04 is now Manager, Strategic Alliances at National Association of Secondary School Principals/Student Councils.
Nathaniel Breeding ’00 joined the International Republican Institute (IRI), as resident program officer in Tunis, Tunisia as part of the organization's Middle East North Africa program.
Ryan Irving ’95 is now Web Architect/Section 508 Compliance Specialist at Commonwealth Trading Partners, Inc.
Chris Chapel ’93 was appointed vice president, Federal Governmental Affairs for NextEra Energy. Chris will work directly with David Brown ‘87.