May 06, 2020

Hampden-Sydney College's chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, welcomes 17 new members in the Spring 2020 classIn lieu of the traditional initiation ceremony that was postponed because of COVID-19, ODK members honored the six senior initiates in virtual introductions, while underclassman initiates will be honored in the fall. 

Resident ODK member, Elliott Associate Professor of Biology, and Director of Undergraduate Research Mike Wolyniak offered this statement: “Hampden-Sydney’s Lambda Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, welcomed new members this spring. Due to COVID-19, the traditional initiation ceremony was cancelled and junior initiates will participate in the fall ceremony. Senior initiates unfortunately will not get to experience the traditional initiation ceremony. In an effort to honor those students, friends and other members offered heartfelt thoughts on each initiate to welcome them to the Circle. 

Ethan Gaines 20  

“I have known Ethan since the first day of my freshman year long ago, and he has since been one of my best friends. Ethan is someone who does everything on campus, but he will never brag about it. He is one of the most humble people I have met, unless you are wrong on some wild sports statistic that he somehow knowsthen you're done. Ethan's academic work ethic is incredible, as he consistently can be found writing history papers or finding ways to study for his upcoming tests. He has one of the highest GPAs in the history department, being a recipient of Dr. Heineman’s history scholar award. Ethan is able to achieve these high academic honors while serving in leadership positions across campus and being on our intramural teams. There is no person more deserving of this honor in his final semester on campus, and Ethan will continue to uphold the standards of ODK leadership and scholarship.” 

-Thomas Gorman 20  

Robert Morris 20  

Robert Morris is an outstanding student, artist and person. He has been an active participant in all levels of theatre activity since his arrival at Hampden-Sydney College four years ago. It has been a joy to watch him excel as an artist and mature and develop as a person. In the classroom Robert is an aggressive learner. He brings his wealth of knowledge and experience to each class meeting and assignment but does not let that hinder his openness to new concepts and ideasAs a person Robert has developed a very present voice and is a leader amongst his peers and even his elders. As a leader he is able to bring a group of students together, either as a lead of a play or as a very active member in our student theatre organization. Robert is truly a unique individual and one of the finest students I have experienced in my time at Hampden-Sydney College. I am excited to continue to follow him as he progresses with his life’s work and activities. 

-Professor Matthew Dubroff 

Thomas M. Rolf 20  

Thomas was the first friend I made at Hampden-Sydney on my very first day here. It was our first dinner at Pannill Commons after our families had gone home and Thomas and I happened to sit together. It took only a few minutes to realize that we had a great deal in common. We came to Hampden-Sydney to study the same things and had similar aspirations for the future. Since that time, I have been continually impressed by Thomas’s intellect, encouraged by his faith, and cheered by his company. During his time here, he has shown himself to be a disciplined scholar and a gentleman of sincere and unblemished character. The obstacles he has faced in his time here he has always met with a mettle and resolve like that of William Ernest Henley’s Invictus, whose “head is bloody, but unbowed.” Meanwhile, he has always kept his Christian faith at the center of his life. He is a model student, a man of honor, and a fitting addition to the Lambda Circle. 

-Zachary Berry 20  

Zander Theoharis 20 

If you know Zander, you know someone who is very dedicated to all he does and someone who has a very hard-working nature. You see his dedication to the tennis program, his academics, and his various extracurricular involvements on campus. What’s so awesome about Zanders dedication to these activities is that he also serves as a leader in everything he does. His teammates on the tennis team see someone who doesn’t take any shortcuts and always gives 100 percent; he serves as a great role model for those around him. His classmates appreciate his work ethic, his respect for the professor and others, and his ability to push those around him. Zander’s leadership can be seen throughout campus, and it will be missed at Hampden-Sydney. 

-Matthew Moody 20  

When I think of Zander, I think of a silent leader who excels both in the classroom and in athletics. He is a person who puts 100 percent of his effort into everything he does, and this is a characteristic you would want to see in any true leader. It has been an honor to be Zander’s teammate and peer for the past three years, and I know he will take these qualities he has sharpened at Hampden-Sydney to wherever he goes in the future. 

-Michael Moody 20  

Rakeem R. Walker 20  

Rakeem is somebody who wore many hats at H-SC and reached and encountered most every person on campus. I will not attempt to list the duties that he has performed at H-SC, but they range from serving  as president of the Minority Student Union to working for the Tiger Inn behind the bar. The first time I met Rakeem, I was so relieved because I could finally put a name to a face I had seen across campus for years. He has performed each task with a cool and respectful demeanor and has completed it with excellence. Rakeem is a man of character above many othersthis alone is enough to be a leader among his peers. Even in the service of others, his ability to connect to and command respect from others is something I had not previously seen. I am so glad that Rakeem is finally recognized by ODK for his excellent leadership and work. Well deserved, Rakeem! 

-from Lambda Circle President Jared Dunlap ‘20 

Arthur White 20 

To me, Arthur is everything that a Hampden-Sydney gentleman should be but is also someone who broke the stereotypes associated with the H-SC man. He is not only a hard worker but also a genuine leader which, to me, means somebody who is willing to love and stand in front of his brother (especially in times of hardship). On many occasionsI saw him go out of his way to assist and instruct his fellow brothers when they needed help. I also saw him take a decisive moral stand in one of the most noteworthy and controversial events in the past few years at H-SC. In a situation where there was extreme polarity in the student body, he stood steadfast and confident in his position. I saw Arthur try to bridge gaps, mend wounds, and look out for his fellow brothers in a time of extreme friction. This sort of leader is one that the world needs today, one who can de-escalate and promote healing without having to compromise his beliefs. I am so very confident that he will excel in every aspect of his life beyond H-SC. Welcome to ODK, Arthur! 

-Jared Dunlap ’20  

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