Julious P. "Joey" Smith, Jr. '65 likens his support of Hampden-Sydney to the tortoise in Aesop's fable, "The Tortoise and the Hare." One might take this to mean his generosity over the years has, like the victorious tortoise, been "slow and steady." But while Joey's leadership and financial contributions over the last 50-plus years have certainly been steady, they've been anything but slow. For those who know Joey, it's more the tortoise's nature — the confidence and determination of a natural leader — that allows the comparison.
"Hampden-Sydney helped shape my life and career. Back in 1961, the campus looked virtually the same, less a few buildings. Everyone knew each other. We never locked our doors," said Joey. "My history professor, the late Dr. Boyd Coyner, who taught Civil War and Modern American history, made learning fun. The writing skills I learned—making an outline, reading my work aloud, writing with double-spaced lines—I still use today."
Since graduating with a history degree from Hampden-Sydney and a law degree from the University of Virginia, Joey has spent his 52-year legal career at Williams Mullen in Richmond. "When I started in 1968, we were a group of 15 lawyers in one office,” he said. “In my last year as managing partner, we had over 300 lawyers in 10 offices in the U.S. and London. We've had a pretty good run." Joey was the firm's managing partner for 26 years, helping it grow to its current size. He now holds the title of chairman emeritus and has returned to practicing business law "at a more reasonable pace."
Joey's "pace" could be described as accelerated when you look at the leadership roles he has held at Hampden-Sydney and in the Richmond community. A past trustee and vice chair of the board at Hampden-Sydney, Joey spearheaded the campaign to renovate Snyder Hall, named for his close friend and classmate Steve Snyder ’65, who was killed in Vietnam. He is a past recipient of the Patrick Henry Public Service Award from the Wilson Center, currently serves on the Wilson Center Board of Advisors, and is a frequent guest lecturer for pre-law students. Joey also served as chairman of his 50 th class reunion, and he and his wife, Sherrill, are members of The 1776 Legacy Society.
"I want to help increase Hampden-Sydney's endowment and thus create more scholarship opportunities for bright, deserving men,” said Joey. “Attracting high caliber students will help perpetuate the Hampden-Sydney we know and admire."
The Smiths created a charitable remainder trust with the College and will receive income for their joint lives with the remainder going to the Hampden-Sydney endowment. "It's a gift plan that suits us and our long-term goals,” he explains. “It also helps keep Hampden-Sydney the wonderful place I remember, and that means a lot to me." Joey's leadership and generosity will undoubtedly make a difference in the lives of many future Hampden-Sydney men.
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