$3 million matching gift received

Published 6:55 pm Sunday, November 14, 2021

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Hampden-Sydney College is pleased to announce a $3 million matching gift through the Ann K. Kirby Foundation and the Guilford Foundation to support the revitalization of Kirby Field House. To date, the college has secured $1.8 million in matching commitments toward the $3 million goal.

This gift was facilitated by Wade Kirby ’80 and Roger Kirby ’88, who have alternately led their family’s philanthropic efforts serving as president or treasurer of the foundations. Their work and generosity enable the college to take an important step forward in advancing a comprehensive athletics master plan, of which the Kirby Field House renovation is a critical facet.

“The Kirby family’s generosity will renew and enhance the most widely used facility on our campus, one that brings together students, faculty and staff alike as we support Tiger athletes and pursue our own fitness and wellness goals,” said President Larry Stimpert. “Providing first-class athletic facilities is essential to our efforts to serve a growing and physically active student body and to meet the needs of our athletic programs and campus events. We are grateful to the Kirby family for their continued stewardship of this facility and their enduring devotion to Hampden-Sydney College.”

Originally built in 1979 through the generosity of Wade and Roger Kirby’s parents, the 75,660 square-foot Kirby Field House is vital to the Tiger athletic program, housing the Fleet Gymnasium, the Leggett pool, the TigeRec Fitness Center, racquetball courts, locker rooms, an athletic training room and coaches’ offices. In addition to hosting Tiger Basketball games, the facility has played host to a variety of non-athletic college events, including the annual Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash, which brings more than 1,000 regional second graders to campus each March, as well as major concerts and annual ceremonies such as baccalaureate and commencement when those events must be moved inside due to rainy weather.

“I truly believe that Hampden-Sydney College is on a trajectory to become one of the finest small colleges in the nation,” said Wade Kirby ’80. “There is a heightened value for the inclusive educational experience the college provides, one that is unique and infinitely worth perpetuating.”

The Kirby family’s gift and matching funds will help the college enhance the experience of all who use Kirby Field House by expanding the TigeRec Fitness Center, adding new facilities for golf and squash and providing improved practice and intramural facilities. The renovations will also include upgrading the building’s HVAC and pool dehumidification systems, replacing the roof and installing a solar array.

“Board Chairman Peebles Harrison and President Larry Stimpert’s leadership are inspiring to me as I watch the college move from strength to strength,” said Roger Kirby ’88. “Thus, we welcomed the chance to provide ongoing support from the Guilford Foundation and the Ann K. Kirby Foundation for the renovation and refurbishment of the Kirby Field House. We are delighted that the college wants the building to be a piece of its future robust athletic program.”

A former trustee of Hampden-Sydney College, Roger Kirby is now a proud member of the James Madison Society, which honors those who have served at least one four-year term on the college’s Board of Trustees.

“The purpose of the society is to actively invite alumni board members to continue providing ongoing support.” Roger Kirby added. “This is an important responsibility that I take seriously.”

After graduating from Hampden-Sydney in 1980, Wade Kirby received a masters of fine arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. A resident of Morristown, New Jersey, he serves as director of development for the Great Swamp Watershed Association. Roger Kirby graduated from Hampden-Sydney in 1988 and serves as president of Guilford Company. A resident of Richmond, Roger served on the Hampden-Sydney Board of Trustees from 1997 until 2007.