Aside from his service as a naval officer during World War II, Blair Dickinson spent his entire career as an educator, beginning as a high school principal in Fauquier County. He and his wife, Lucile, later took on assignments at American Dependents’ schools at overseas postings in Japan, Germany, and Italy. Mr. Dickinson concluded his career at Leesburg High School in Florida. He passed away on September 11, 1984, in Boynton Beach, Florida. His father, M. Blair Dickinson, Sr., was an 1892 graduate who served on the College’s Board of Trustees for many years, and Hampden-Sydney’s history has many examples of Dickinson family members attending and supporting Hampden-Sydney.
Blair Dickinson’s widow, Sarah “Lucile” Lawton Dickinson — who was also a WWII veteran, serving in the United States Marine Corps as a member of the women’s division of the aviation corps and rising to the rank of sergeant — outlived her husband by nearly 35 years, but she remained committed to their original plan to leave a significant portion of their estate to his beloved alma mater. The Dickinsons met shortly after World War II when they were instructors at North Carolina State University. They both believed strongly in the power of education, and Mrs. Dickinson maintained her connection with Hampden-Sydney College in the decades that followed the death of her husband. She passed away in Boynton Beach on May 7, 2019, at the age of 95.