It was the desire to play college football that brought Bill Kirk ’72 to Hampden-Sydney.
As a defensive starter, Kirk played all four years and is a proud member of the 1971 undefeated team (a record that lasted until 2011). He is also a proud inductee of the Hampden-Sydney Athletics Hall of Fame.
“My freshman and sophomore years we won a few games. My junior year, we lost the first game and won every other. My senior year we had the number one defense in the country and a perfect record. Football provided great memories along with lifelong friendships,” Kirk said.
Kirk quickly found his place off the football field as a member of Hampden-Sydney’s tight-knit community. “Even if you didn’t know everyone’s name, you knew faces. You were expected to work hard. It was tough academically; we had Saturday classes. Hampden-Sydney is where I learned to learn.”
Kirk’s first job after graduating from Hampden-Sydney was with Shell Oil Company in Philadelphia. He returned to Roanoke to work for Associated Asphalt, the company run by his godmother where his father also worked. It was there he witnessed the impact of giving back to help others. “Anything extra the company had, my father made sure we shared with local agencies,” he recalled.
Under Kirk’s ownership, Associated Asphalt grew substantially over the years. He has since sold parts of the company to a private equity firm. “I’m blessed to have done well,” Kirk said.
Kirk believes in sharing his blessings, and his success has enabled him to make impactful gifts at Hampden-Sydney and in the Roanoke community, like his church, the local hospital and the YMCA. “One of my favorite quotes is from Winston Churchill: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,” Kirk shared. “I want to make a difference with my philanthropy. Bricks and mortar last long after your lifetime. Hampden-Sydney is a good place to put your treasures.”
As a Hampden-Sydney trustee for two decades, Kirk is well aware of the current needs of the college as well as the importance of a robust endowment to provide for the future. His giving fulfills both these needs.
The Kirk Athletic Center bears his family name, and he has created a generous endowment which will fund a football coaching position. Kirk has also named Hampden-Sydney a beneficiary of a retirement plan to continue his support after his lifetime.
“Athletics can attract future students. This year 135 young men tried out for the football team and one-third of all Hampden-Sydney students play on an athletic team. Those who want to come to Hampden-Sydney generally want to stay and they benefit from all Hampden-Sydney has to offer.”
“I always felt part of my development as a young man can be attributed to Hampden-Sydney, both on the football field and in the classroom where I leaned discipline and other skills I use in everyday life. My gifts are a way to provide those valuable opportunities to others.”
Your gift supports the Tiger legacy and positions the College for another century of forming good men and good citizens.
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