May 13, 2024

On Saturday, May 11, 2024, the Class of 2024 experienced a remarkably normal commencement ceremony. For a class that endured so much in their undergraduate careers, this was a triumph.

Class of 2024 processing toward commencementAll of the usual descriptors apply to the Hampden-Sydney College Class of 2024: intelligent, ambitious, hard-working. With more than half of their college experiences marked by a global pandemic, though, a whole new set of descriptors also applies: resilient, hungry, wise beyond their years.

On Saturday, May 11, 2024, the Class of 2024 experienced a remarkably normal commencement ceremony. In other years, that might be a bad thing. For this class, though, it’s refreshing. Beaming smiles were uninhibited by masks. Congratulatory hugs were given freely with no thought to social distancing. For a class that endured so much in their undergraduate careers, those little moments were weighty with triumph.

College President Larry Stimpert opened the ceremony with comments on the historic renovation currently wrapping up on the 200-year-old Venable Hall that serves as the backdrop for commencement, noting that “Hampden-Sydney has been about the process of building its campus for nearly 250 years. But the most important building this College does is the forming of good men and good citizens…Our building efforts focus on every dimension of a young man’s identity—his intellect, certainly, but also his social, physical, emotional, moral, and spiritual dimensions. All are important. What good is intellect if you don’t know how to share knowledge and collaborate in its application? Intellect also needs the discipline that comes from emotional maturity. And, above all—as history teaches us—intellect needs a moral compass.”

commencement gathering at Hampden-Sydney CollegeBuilding on Dr. Stimpert’s remarks was commencement speaker David Brooks, well-known journalist and political and social commentator, who outlined six activities that contribute to becoming a good man and a good citizen. These six activities align in that the journey to becoming a good man is inextricably linked with being a good citizen. Brooks notes that, “Joy is the fruit of a well lived life. Happiness is when we achieve some victory for ourselves, we get a raise or win a championship. We feel bigger about ourselves. But joy comes when we forget ourselves, and feel part of the whole. Happiness comes from accomplishments. Joy comes from offering gifts.”

The 188 graduates of the Class of 2024 have offered their gifts to Hampden-Sydney for the last four years, and through the devotion of faculty and staff and their own commitment to fulfilling the College’s mission, they are well-poised to now offer their gifts to the world. Congratulations, graduates!

Student, Faculty, and Staff Awards:

Cabell Award: Elliott Assistant Professor of History, Dr. Tara D. Stephan
Created by the Robert G. Cabell III and Maude Morgan Cabell Foundation to assist the College in attracting and keeping professors of high ability and integrity and given annually to “a Hampden-Sydney faculty member in recognition of outstanding classroom contribution to the education of Christian young men.”

The Thomas Edward Crawley Award: Elliott Professor of History, Dr. Eric G. Dinmore
An award given annually in honor of Professor Thomas Edward Crawley to “that professor most distinguished for devoted service to the ideals of Hampden-Sydney and the education of her sons.”

The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion: John Michael Rowe; Thomas B. Bishop; Assistant Director of Operations in the Department of Facilities Management, William E. “Bill” Gillen
Given annually by the New York Southern Society in honor of its first president, Algernon Sydney Sullivan. The recipient of this award is a member of the graduating class who has distinguished himself for excellence of character and generous service to his fellows. Other recipients may be chosen from friends of the College who have been conspicuously helpful to the institution in its efforts to encourage and preserve a high standard of morals.

The Anna Carrington Harrison Award: George A. Langhammer
An award given as a memorial to his mother by the late Mr. Fred N. Harrison of Richmond, is awarded to the student who shows the most constructive leadership in a school year.

The Gammon Cup: Josiah T. Hardy
Given in memory of Dr. Edgar G. Gammon, a member of Hampden-Sydney College’s class of 1905 who was captain of the College’s football, baseball, and track teams is awarded to the student-athlete in the graduating class who has best served the College, who shows not only athletic ability and scholarship, but embodies Dr. Gammon’s outstanding character

The Senior Class Award: Vinton Bruton IV
Given by the senior class to a community member for their contributions to the College, its students, and the community

  • a crowd of graduates smiling
  • faculty processing at commencement
  • graduates in attendance at commencement
  • David Brooks speaking at commencement
  • military commissioning at commencement
  • students fist bumping at commencement
  • student pausing for a photo op at commencement
  • family taking a selfe at commencement
  • student with diploma beaming at commencement