Class of 2023 welcomed

Published 5:08 pm Friday, August 30, 2019

In her final official act as dean of admissions, Anita H. Garland welcomed members of the Class of 2023 to the Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) brotherhood, the 40th class she has recruited in her storied career on the Hill, a college press release highlighted.

“Your class is filled with leaders,” Garland told the new Tigers on Aug. 22 under the canopy of trees on the lawn of Venable Hall, according to the release. “It has the highest total percentage of Eagle Scouts, Boys State attendees and presidents of student governments of any class in the history of Hampden-Sydney College.”

Officials noted in the release that in addition to Dean Garland, President Dr. Larry Stimpert, Dean of the Faculty Mike McDermott, Dean of Students Robert Sabbatini and Student Body President Ben Anderson, a senior, addressed the newest members of the Hampden-Sydney community before the young men bid farewell to their families and began acquainting themselves with Hampden-Sydney traditions, campus life and each other.

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The incoming class members arrive at Hampden-Sydney having already distinguished themselves as athletes, outdoorsmen, scholars and leaders during their high school careers, the release stated. They have served as captains of state-champion soccer and football teams, earned national rankings in fencing and sporting clays, participated in international entrepreneurial competitions and national leadership summits. They have studied Latin, Russian and Mandarin Chinese in addition to the more common Spanish, French and German.

They have founded student organizations and launched businesses — one young man already runs three profitable seasonal businesses, while another incorporated his own web marketing company at age 15 and now counts clients throughout the mid-Atlantic, the release cited. They have volunteered countless hours with youth programs, nonprofit organizations, church ministries and educational outreaches. One member of the class personally packed more than 1,000 suitcases for young children entering the foster care system with the nonprofit organization Comfort Cases, and another was named youth league basketball Coach of the Year in his local community.

Officials noted in the release that Hampden-Sydney’s Class of 2023 represents 16 states and five countries. Although the largest percentage of the class hails from Virginia — with North Carolina, Maryland, South Carolina and Georgia rounding out the top five — a number of the newest Tigers bring international experience to the Hill, having lived in Ghana, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Spain and Saudi Arabia, among other locales.

“No matter their hometown, state or country, however, class members rallied around their new identity as the men of Hampden-Sydney during orientation, signing the honor code pledge, volunteering in the local Farmville community and enjoying dinner with President and Mrs. Stimpert at Middlecourt Sunday evening,” officials said in the release. “And bright and early Monday morning, Aug. 26, they joined upperclassmen across campus for the first day of classes, officially opening the 245th academic year at Hampden-Sydney College.”