“Come here as youths, so you may leave as men.” These words on the stone columns at the entrance to campus serve as a challenge to all Hampden-Sydney students to cast off the blindfold of youth and begin the arduous transformation into the good man and good citizen that H-SC compels them to become.
When President Larry Stimpert emphasized this charge at opening convocation in 2020, then freshman George Langhammer ’24 adopted it as his guiding principle, inspiring him to embrace transformative experiences and make a meaningful difference in his new community.
In the succeeding four years, George did just that. He has served his community in myriad ways: as a punter for the Hampden-Sydney Football team, brother of Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, member of the Honor Court, member of Phi Beta Kappa, member of Omicron Delta Kappa, member of The Alexander Hamilton Society, a Wilson Leadership fellow, a Rhetoric Studio consultant, Orientation leader, member of The Society for Collegiate Journalists, editor for The Hampden-Sydney Tiger, president of Phi Alpha Delta, and a mentor to a local elementary school student.
Because of these experiences, George has discovered the kind of man he wants to be as he prepares to leave Hampden-Sydney in the spring. “Through academic and extracurricular experiences on and off the Hill, I feel I was able to transform how I perceive myself, where I want to be, and what I want to do with my life,” George said. “Being a mentor to a local student has been transformative for me. It allowed me to connect with the community, witness personal growth—both in the student and in myself—and it has been incredibly rewarding.”
George dedicated much of his time to football, an endeavor that required him to cultivate a robust work ethic. George's dedication, determination, and selflessness, both on and off the field, led to his recognition as the College's fourth consecutive semi-finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy. This prestigious award—known as the academic Heisman—honors college football players who demonstrate remarkable achievements in academics, leadership, and on-field performance.
“Among the things I cherished most about being on the football team was the sense of community and brotherhood,” George said. “I found myself working for my teammates, developing a strong sense of character, and becoming a better person.”
George urges all students to engage in both academic and extracurricular pursuits, recognizing the profound impact on overall personal development. Additionally, he advocates for utilizing invaluable resources like the Ferguson Career Center and the Rhetoric Studio, essential in fostering student success. He highlights these avenues not only as means to excel but also as fantastic opportunities to connect with fellow students, a facet of the Hampden-Sydney experience that he particularly enjoys.
“I really like being around people and enjoy getting to know different kinds of people,” George said. “The College is set around developing good men and good citizens and is full of men who want to succeed and put the work in to do so.”
Describing Hampden-Sydney as an intellectual playground, George diligently strives to learn as much as he can while on the Hill. Committed faculty members actively support this academic journey, lending their expertise to aid students. Notably, Elliott Associate Professor of Rhetoric Sean Gleason and Associate Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs Warner Winborne ’88 have significantly influenced George’s academic and personal evolution through their courses and expertise.
Moreover, George acknowledges the significant contributions of other faculty members who have influenced his development through rigorous writing assignments, a common aspect of the Hampden-Sydney student experience. George notes that International Law (GVFA 440) taught by Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs Roger Barrus was one of his most challenging yet rewarding courses. Despite its difficulty, it honed his ability to write more efficiently, a valuable skill that has served George well through his academic journey.
“Hampden-Sydney equips you with skills applicable in the real world,” George said. “The way we are taught to think, write, and discuss concepts and ideas prepares us for diverse opportunities beyond the gates.”
With graduation on the horizon, George has his sights set on a future that is meaningful and impactful. By actively engaging in the community and applying the skills honed during his time at Hampden-Sydney, George envisions a future centered on serving and supporting others. His goal is not just to find a career but to create a purposeful path that echoes the impact he made while at the College.