When government major Grayson Manning ’23 was searching for colleges to attend, he knew what he wanted. Appreciating his hometown of Woodstock, Virginia, Grayson wished to attend a college in a rural area with a solid sense of community and a top-notch government program to support his law school aspirations. Luckily, a Hampden-Sydney alumnus would nudge him in the right direction.
William B. Allen III ’69 happened to know a college that ticked all of Grayson’s requirements. While working as ski instructors, Grayson and Allen forged a bond. Allen encouraged him to look at Hampden-Sydney, thinking he would be an excellent fit for the brotherhood and find everything he desired.
“Looking back, I appreciate his drive and interest in presenting Hampden-Sydney to me,” Grayson laughs. “As an alumnus, he understood how well Hampden-Sydney prepares men and knew the quality of education I would be getting.”
Taking Allen’s advice to heart, Grayson decided to tour the College. “Hampden-Sydney really appealed to me,” Grayson says. “Growing up in a small town, everyone is very connected, and I got that sense when I visited campus.” After touring the campus and finding himself impressed with the government program at the College, he enrolled in the fall of 2019 with his vision for the future set on law school.
Grayson’s passion for law spans multiple categories. “The element of family law and the general practice of opening a private firm fascinates me,” Grayson says. “On the other hand, I am also interested in the corporate side of the law, and I enjoy the merger acquisition and negotiations side.”
His government classes continued to push his legal interests further. Grayson learned legal language through readings, court cases, and constitutional documents, which boosted his understanding of the field.
Grayson cited his advisor, Associate Professor of Government & Foreign Affairs Celia Carroll-Jones, as an influence. “As a professor, I was interested in her wealth of knowledge,” Grayson says. “She has mentored me through my legal education journey and is certainly a strong character to learn from.”