The Honorable Ben Sasse will deliver the commencement address at Hampden-Sydney College’s commencement ceremony on May 14, 2022. Sasse has represented his native state of Nebraska in the United States Senate since 2015.
Before being elected to the Senate, Sasse spent five years as president of Midland University, which he took over at the age of 37 and transformed into one of the nation’s fastest-growing schools in just three years. Sasse is also the author of two best-selling books, one about economies with limited work for teenagers, and the other about the paradox of loneliness and collapsing local community. Sasse was a wrestler at Harvard, where he majored in government. He also holds an M.A. from St. John’s College and a Ph.D. in American history from Yale.
Sasse serves on the intelligence, judiciary, finance, and budget committees in the Senate, where he is focused on the future of work, the future of war, and the First Amendment.
The College is also thrilled to welcome Ken Woodley ’79 as baccalaureate speaker on May 13. The author of “The Road to Healing: A Civil Rights Reparations Story in Prince Edward County, Virginia,” Woodley was an award-winning journalist at the Farmville Herald for 36 years, serving the final 24 years as editor.
In 2003, Woodley proposed and led the successful fight for a state-funded scholarship program for those affected by county-wide local public school closings from 1959-1964. In 2006, the Virginia Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists presented Woodley with the George Mason Award “for demonstrating that a community newspaper and a principled editor are relevant and vital parts of civic leadership and that the importance of journalism is not defined by the size of the community or the circulation of the newspaper.”
A licensed lay preacher in the Episcopal church since 2005, Woodley has written spiritual mediations in Forward Day By Day for the national Episcopal Church’s publishing arm, Forward Movement.