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A $4 million gift

The latest evidence of high confidence in Hampden-Sydney College’s (H-SC) current direction and strategy is the unprecedented pledge of $4 million from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

In a Thursday press release, the college announced the foundation is awarding it a total of $4 million “for the creation of a scholarship endowment to support need-based financial aid for academically qualified students.”

Dr. Larry Stimpert

H-SC President Dr. Larry Stimpert is quoted in the release, noting that among the school’s highest institutional priorities is ensuring access to future generations of Hampden-Sydney men, preceding this with the point that the education offered at the school helps transform youths into men.

“The Carpenter Foundation’s generosity, matched with the support of Hampden-Sydney’s loyal alumni and friends, will enable many highly qualified young men to experience that transformation,” Stimpert said in the release.

College officials said recipients of the scholarships made possible by the grant will be known as Carpenter Scholars.

Elaborating further on the nature of the grant, the release stated that it will be paid in four annual $1 million installments that are contingent on the college raising $4 million in cash for each $1 million portion of the Carpenter funds.

H-SC Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dr. Lee King said the entire college community is grateful for the Carpenter Foundation’s vote of confidence in the form of the grant.

“The opportunities to leverage significant scholarship gifts in response to their challenge opens many new doors for fundraising potential,” he said. “Our staff and administration are excited to get underway in raising the required match.”

Highlighting the unprecedented nature of the gift, King said, “This pledge from the Carpenter Foundation is the largest pledge of its kind that the college has

Dr. Lee King

ever received. The combination of the Carpenter match and the challenge to raise an additional $16 million will be powerful in quickly adding to our scholarship endowment.”

H-SC Director of Communications and Marketing Gordon Neal gave some insight into what prompted the Carpenter Foundation to award the school with the gift.

He said that in early conversations with the foundation, “they stressed the importance of access to higher education and their feeling that this is a primary challenge for colleges, and we couldn’t agree more. I believe the foundation also has guidelines about the types of grant requests they will consider, and one element involves organizations that had direct relationships with one of the Carpenters during their lifetimes (of which Hampden-Sydney is one).”

The release noted that H-SC has a longstanding relationship with the foundation.

“Three residence halls at the college bear the name of E. Rhodes Carpenter, a 1929 graduate of Hampden-Sydney who founded Carpenter Co. and later established the Carpenter Foundation,” school officials said in the release. “The foundation’s support facilitated the construction of these residence halls, and a $1 million grant in 2012 helped create the Viar-Christ Center for the Arts in Brinkley Hall, a project that was completed this year.”

King pointed out that the foundation’s latest grant follows a highly successful fundraising year, setting the stage for continued momentum.

“The strong gift support we are seeing is an affirmation of the college’s mission of forming good men and good citizens and reflects solid confidence in both the college’s current direction and our strategic goals to strengthen the institution,” he said.

The release noted that the Carpenter challenge “becomes the cornerstone of a highly targeted fundraising campaign to increase the college’s endowment to $200 million by the 2020-21 academic and fiscal year.”