Honor. It's more than an ideal - it's a way of life, and it inspires everything we do at Hampden-Sydney down to the smallest interaction, like greeting everyone we meet on campus and behaving as gentlemen at all times and in all places. 

For more than two and a half centuries, we've lived according to two basic codes that define what honorable behavior means to us.

The first is the Code of Conduct, our promise to treat each other, members of the College community and everyone else we meet as we would like to be treated. This principle is as powerful today as it was when it was originally introduced in the early nineteenth century:

"The Hampden-Sydney student will behave as a gentleman at all times and in all places."

The second principle is the Honor Code. We use it as a guide in every interaction - academic, professional, and social. By agreeing to follow it, we pledge our opposition to underhanded, illegal, or unethical behavior. It applies at all times and in all places, but we don't view it as a set of rules. It's a set of ethical principles that make it possible for us to live in a community of mutual trust and respect.

"The Hampden-Sydney student will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do."

These principles guide us in creating a safe and dignified community. By constantly putting them into practice, we make them the core of a lifelong ethical standard. 

Hampden-Sydney helps people develop into good, honest human beings. Where else can you go and just throw your books down and go eat, or leave your door unlocked?

Father Joe Metzger ’84, Catholic priest

The responsibility is yours.

These codes - and the accompanying discipline for any offender - are student-governed, and it is up to the members of this brotherhood, year after year, to preserve the standards of decency and ethical behavior that have been the foundations of student life since before the American Revolution. And who knows? Perhaps you will take it upon yourself to become a defender and arbiter of these codes by running to represent your peers as a member of the Student Court, or even as Student Body President. Regardless, the strength of this system — and the foundation of this community — depends on the integrity and ethical actions of every single member of the Hampden-Sydney community.