$4 million gift to support H-SC athletic endowment
Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) announced in a press release Friday a pledge of $4 million from John W. “Bill” Kirk III and his wife, Shireen, to support the endowment of the H-SC athletic program.
Kirk, a 1972 H-SC graduate, has been a generous supporter of the college and Tiger athletics for many years, and he was a major benefactor for the Kirk Athletic Center at Hampden-Sydney, school officials said.
“Among the ranks of Hampden-Sydney’s renowned brotherhood, few have given as much of their time, expertise, and financial resources to this institution as Bill Kirk,” Hampden-Sydney President Larry Stimpert said in the release. “We are truly grateful to Bill and Shireen for their commitment to the Tiger athletic program and to this college. Athletic competition is a critical element of the Hampden-Sydney experience, and Bill’s support for our athletic endowment strengthens the foundation of our program and ensures a promising future for the young men who don the garnet and grey, as well as the talented staff who coach and mentor them.”
According to the release, at Hampden-Sydney, Kirk was a four-year defensive starter for the Tiger football team, earning all-state and all-conference honors as a senior. As a defensive tackle in 1971, he anchored a unit that led the nation in total and scoring defense. Kirk was inducted into the H-SC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012, college officials said.
“As a Tiger athlete himself, and as a longtime member of our board of trustees, Bill fully understands the resources and facilities necessary for fielding ten competitive NCAA athletic teams,” H-SC Director of Athletics Chad Eisele said in the release. “At the same time, Bill is a living example of the enduring value of athletic participation and the lessons young men learn through team sports, lessons that are consistent with Hampden-Sydney’s mission ‘to form good men and good citizens.’ Bill and Shireen’s support sets a high-water mark for support to the program and will undoubtedly inspire additional generosity from other fans of Tiger athletics.”
The release also noted that Kirk’s pledge is a critical element of a short-term effort to grow Hampden-Sydney’s endowment to $200 million.
“His support will also be leveraged as part of a challenge to other Tiger athletic boosters to offer support for the endowments of the department and individual programs,” school officials said. “The challenge component requires that two dollars be raised for each dollar from Mr. Kirk’s pledge, meaning that the total expected fundraising associated with this pledge is $12 million. Endowing these programs enables the redeployment of operating budget resources to other key college priorities.
Kirk currently serves as vice chair of the college’s board of trustees, as stated in the release. It was also noted that he is chief executive officer of Associated Asphalt, one of the largest providers of liquid asphalt to the paving industry in the U.S. He and his wife, Shireen, live in Roanoke.
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