"Hampden-Sydney profoundly shaped my life. Any success, any significance I have achieved in my life can in large measure be seen as the result of the four years I spent on this campus. I love this place."
High praise from one of Hampden-Sydney’s most notable alumni. The Honorable Paul S. Trible, Jr. ’68 has truly led a life of significance, from his time as a United States senator to his current position as fifth president of Christopher Newport University— a public college that Trible elevated from near extinction to national rankings.
In his February 11 address to a crowd of students, faculty, and community members in Crawley Forum, Trible credited Hampden-Sydney with modeling what a great college should look like and informing the framework with which he built up CNU. "At Christopher Newport, we celebrate a speaking tradition and an honor code, customs that I learned here and took with me throughout my life."
The speaking tradition that Trible refers to is the simple act of acknowledging people with a smile and a greeting as they cross your path on the sidewalk, in the dining hall, or at the gym. Trible reminisced about a visit to one college where he noticed that students did not acknowledge one another as they passed. He stopped a student to inquire about the reason for this and the student replied, "That’s just the way the world is." Trible reminded the audience that Hampden-Sydney "isn’t interested in conforming to the world, but rather transforming the world."