March 06, 2019

Hampden-Sydney College and local school children celebrated literacy and learning at the annual Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash, held in Kirby Field House on Wednesday, February 27.

More than 900 second-grade students and teachers from six surrounding counties enjoyed Seuss-themed games, bounce houses, obstacle courses, book signings with Tiger athletes and coaches, and a cast of colorful Seuss characters. The College distributed almost a thousand books to the young visitors, and sent an additional 250 books to local schools unable to attend this year’s event. Now in its third year, the Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash was founded by Mrs. Lesley Stimpert, herself a children’s librarian passionate about youth and literacy, building upon a long-standing Hampden-Sydney tradition of distributing books in local elementary schools.

  • Staff greeting elementary school students from their bus

    Iconic Seuss characters welcomed each student to Wednesday’s festivities. Here, “Thing Two,” aka Janis Leach, wife of Hampden-Sydney Chaplain Keith Leach ’82, greets second graders from Buckingham County Public Schools.

  •  Staff dressed as the Hampden-Sydney Tiger greets elementary students

    Yank the Tiger exchanges high-fives with local school children in front of Kirby Field House. To accommodate almost a thousand young visitors, H-SC hosted two separate two-hour events, with 576 children attending in the morning and an additional 328 in the afternoon.

  • Bounce Houses and games set up in the Hampden-Sydney gym

    The first visitors make their way through four bounce houses and inflatable obstacle courses. More than 100 volunteers from the Hampden-Sydney community—faculty, staff, and students—made the Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash a success.

  • A child crawling under hula hoops

    Hands-on activities kept the children active and engaged, including an obstacle course inspired by "If I Ran the Circus," manned by student members of H-SC’s Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society.

  • Children playing with a giant parachute

    Tamara Wright of Hampden-Sydney’s Office of Global Education interacts with students; activities included "Green Eggs and Ham" tic tac toe, "The Lorax" corn hole, and a "Hop on Pop" trampoline game.

  • A child wearing lots of green hats

    A local second grader participates in the "Ten Apples Up on Top" relay, balancing ten hats with the help of H-SC staff member Janice Braxton.

  • Staff laughing and holding balloons

    Gail Hamlin, house manager at Middlecourt, wears a sculpture created by balloon artist Teddy Spaghetti, who entertained the crowd between activities.

  • Hampden-Sydney College students signing Dr. Seuss books for children

    Tiger athletes and coaches offered autographs to the young fans, who got to choose one of ten Seuss titles to take home. Hampden-Sydney distributed approximately 1,175 books in conjunction with last week’s event.

  • Hampden-Sydney College students signing Dr. Seuss books for children

    Tiger Football Captain Brian Gwaltney ’19 takes a break from signing autographs with teammate Josh Baker ’22.

  • Hampden-Sydney College staff dressed up as Dr. Seuss characters

    Sam I Am (Matt Griswold, H-SC cross country coach and director of club sports and intramurals), Cindy Lou Who (Betsy Leonard, H-SC swimming coach and director of TigeRec), the Cat in the Hat (Chad Eisele, H-SC director of athletics), Thing One (May Reed, Wilson Center program coordinator), Thing Two (Janis Leach, community member), and Yank the Tiger posed for photos with each second-grade class.