New investments in the sciences announced
Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 3, 2021
As the new state-of-the-art Pauley Science Center continues to take shape on campus, Hampden-Sydney College is grateful to be able to announce several important investments in the future of the sciences at the college, beginning with the third largest gift in the college’s history: a gift of $11 million from the estate of the late Dr. W. Glenn Hurt ’60 that will be used to establish a new science scholarship with summer research opportunities for its recipients. In addition, college trustee Trevor Boyce ’83 is contributing $1 million to support the construction of the Pauley Science Center, and the Robert Leroy Atwell and Lucy Williams Atwell Foundation has dedicated $250,000 to provide additional support for research opportunities for science students.
“While the college has emphasized the sciences since its founding, the need for a state-of-the-art science facility and for all Hampden-Sydney students to graduate with a high degree of scientific literacy is more important than ever,” President Larry Stimpert said. “These philanthropic investments in the college’s future will help secure Hampden-Sydney’s place among the country’s finest liberal arts colleges and universities.”
Dr. Hurt’s act of extraordinary generosity is characteristic of his lifelong commitment to Hampden-Sydney before his death in February at the age of 82. This latest gift will establish the new Hurt Science Scholars Program, which will give aspiring scientists increased access to a Hampden-Sydney education by providing an annual scholarship of approximately $10,000 per recipient. Each Hurt Science Scholar will also have funding through this scholarship program to engage in research opportunities for two summers.
“Few Hampden-Sydney alumni have been as devoted in their commitment to the college as Dr. Hurt,” Stimpert said. “He quietly and anonymously supported Hampden-Sydney during his life and now leaves an enduring legacy that will create opportunities for generations of scientists to come. We will always be grateful for his humble and selfless dedication.”
A longtime professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical School, Dr. Hurt was passionate about the sciences and the cultivation of scientific practitioners, mentoring many young Hampden-Sydney alumni through medical school and into the medical profession.
Dr. Hurt generously but anonymously supported the college throughout his life. His most recent gifts included $1 million to establish the Hinton Baxter Overcash Immersive Biology Laboratory in the Pauley Science Center in honor of a beloved former professor, and $2.45 million to augment an existing endowed scholarship. In 2013, Dr. Hurt also established an endowed fund with the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond to ensure additional, need-based annual scholarship support for Hampden-Sydney in perpetuity.
“Dr. Hurt was not only an incredibly accomplished physician and devoted mentor but was one of the warmest men and among Hampden-Sydney’s most passionate supporters. He was immensely proud of the college and enthusiastic about its future,” Heather Krajewski, vice president for advancement, said. “We will miss him greatly, but his gifts will perpetually enrich the science program at the college, which meant so much to him, to an extraordinary degree.”
The heart of the Pauley Science Center will be the robust opportunities it will offer students—research experiences being among the most important. The additional $250,000 in support from the Atwell Foundation builds on Dr. Hurt’s generosity and will help to provide students with enhanced opportunities to pursue research under the guidance of dedicated and talented professors.
“Roy Atwell truly admired Hampden-Sydney’s liberal arts curriculum and the college’s commitment to providing students with an exceptional education,” Will Seymour ’79, who serves with Bill Bellamy as the trustees of the foundation named to honor Mr. Atwell’s parents, said. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to continue his legacy of support for Hampden-Sydney and hope that this gift will enrich the student research experience.”
In recent years, science research students have represented the college at many national conferences. In 2020, prior to becoming co-valedictorian, Tyler Howerton ’21 became the fifth Hampden-Sydney student in seven years to receive the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, the nation’s highest undergraduate achievement in the natural sciences, math and engineering.
“Participation in authentic research experiences is one of the best ways that our STEM students learn how to think and act as scientists,” Dr. Michael Wolyniak, McGavacks associate professor of biology and director of the college’s undergraduate research program, said. “Gifts to support student and faculty research and scholarship are pivotal for Hampden-Sydney to remain a distinct place where students can receive a rigorous liberal arts education combined with the top-notch experiences in science that make them competitive for graduate school, professional school, and the STEM workforce.”
Like Dr. Hurt, Trevor Boyce ’83 has been a longtime advocate for a robust science curriculum at Hampden-Sydney. A current college trustee and chairman of Microbac Laboratories, Inc., Boyce dedicated his substantial $1 million gift to support the ongoing creation of the college’s new science facility—a project he has long championed. Boyce served as a trustee member of Hampden-Sydney’s science task force, where trustees and faculty members worked collaboratively to assess the needs and opportunities within the college’s science program and ensure the new facility would enable the program to realize its full potential. In addition to his leadership of Microbac, which is one of the nation’s leading private testing laboratories, Boyce has been active in the scientific community for more than 35 years, including serving as chairman of the American Council of Independent Laboratories.
“My Hampden-Sydney education has benefited me every day of my career,” Boyce said. “The Pauley Science Center will build on a tradition of science excellence and transform the academic experience at the college. I’m proud to support these crucial efforts to ensure a first-rate science education for every single Hampden-Sydney student.”
Stimpert shared, “As a trustee, Trevor Boyce has been among our board’s most passionate advocates for the sciences, and we are grateful both for his devoted stewardship of the project and his tangible contribution to bringing it to reality.”
Construction of the Pauley Science Center at the corner of Via Sacra and College Road has been ongoing since the spring of 2020. Substantial brick and trim work has been completed on the building’s exterior, window installation is nearly complete, and roof installation is now underway. Completion is slated for the spring of 2022, with the first classes being held in the facility the following fall.
The most ambitious construction project in the college’s history, the roughly 73,000-square-foot Pauley Science Center will feature state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, equipment and interactive spaces to support first-class science teaching, research and scholarly activity. The facility was made possible by the transformative generosity of the late Stanley F. Pauley, whose $30 million gift in 2019 launched the project. The estimated total cost of the project exceeds $40 million.
“In announcing Mr. Pauley’s transformational gift in 2019, we said that it would begin the next chapter of a long history of successful outcomes for our students,” Stimpert said. “The philanthropy of our dedicated supporters ensures that the college will continue writing that chapter, building on our momentum and offering an unrivaled undergraduate science education for generations of young men to come.”
Follow along with the construction of the Pauley Science Center via the live feed at http://www.hsc.edu/pauley-science-center.