College receives $20 million gift

Published 8:30 am Friday, May 24, 2024

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It’s been a busy week for Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC). After celebrating its 166 graduates over the weekend, school staff announced a massive pledge, one that counts as the second largest in Hampden-Sydney’s history. Also, H-SC President Larry Stimpert gave an outline to county supervisors of where the school is at with enrollment and where they’re aiming.

But first, let’s talk about renovations. After all, that’s what the $20 million pledge from Endeavour Legacy Foundation will go to. School officials say plans are to take the money and use it to renovate Gilmer Hall. Formerly the college’s science center, it will be turned into a state-of-the-art teaching and learning facility. When construction is finished, the goal is for Gilmer to house the Economics & Business department, along with Government and Foreign Affairs.

“Endeavour Legacy Foundation is thrilled to be imagining the possibilities with Hampden-

Sydney College in taking on this major initiative with transformational potential,” the group said in a statement provided to media.

School officials said by investing in the Gilmer Hall renovation project, the Foundation is “creating an environment that will attract and inspire the best prospective students interested in business, finance, economics, politics, public affairs, and foreign relations.”’

It’s one of several projects in the works at Hampden-Sydney. Speaking to Prince Edward County supervisors during their Tuesday, May 14 meeting, Stimpert said the college was in one of its biggest construction phases in years.

“We now have over $170 million in construction either completed, underway or planned for the campus,” Stimpert told supervisors.


Beyond department buildings, school officials are looking at expansion for some of the extracurriculars they offer. Stimpert gave the example of the shooting facility Hampden-Sydney operates at the Slate Hill Plantation. Two years ago, Prince Edward supervisors signed off on a special use permit for H-SC to operate the shooting facility, which now houses events for alumni and current students alike.

“It has been a great offering,” Stimpert said. “We know there are a lot of guys, because we are a rural campus, who have an interest in hunting, fishing, shooting. It’s been a way for us to recruit.”

In fact, he added, there’s currently more interest than Hampden-Sydney can accommodate, when it comes to using the shooting facility. As a result, school staff submitted a request to expand the special use permit to Prince Edward. Stimpert said he hopes that will make its way to the planning board in the months to come.

For the fall semester, Hampden-Sydney expects to have just at or slightly above 1,000 students. Events like the basketball team’s run to the national championship game served as a great marketing tool in recruiting. As it stands, Stimpert said he’s happy with where the college is, but does plan to work on expanding a bit more in the years ahead.

“Our goal is to get to about 1200 and stay there,” Stimpert said. “We think it’ll take about three years to get there.”