history of the college
that they return to their studies. The College did not close during the Civil War. During the presidencies of Dr. Atkinson and his successor, Dr. Richard McIlwaine, many features of current student life were introduced -- social fraternities, sports teams, and student government. After the Seminary moved to Richmond, Major Richard M. Venable, Class of 1857, bought its buildings and gave them to the College, doubling the physical plant. Hampden-Sydney was led through the Depression and World War II and their aftermath by Presidents Joseph D. Eggleston (1919-1939) and Edgar G. Gammon (19391955). In the years following World War II, the College increased in enrollment, financial strength, and academic stature. In the late 1950s, academic majors were established. Under President W. Taylor Reveley II (19631977), the core curriculum, largely as it is today, was established, the size of the student body and faculty increased, the physical plant was expanded, required weekly chapel services and college-wide assemblies were abolished, and the first African-American student was admitted in 1968. Under President Josiah Bunting III (19771987), the Rhetoric Program was instituted (1978). The current Honors Program was established. Under President Samuel V. Wilson (19922000), fine arts became a full department with programs for majors; the Center for Leadership in the Public Interest was established and was named for President Wilson upon his retirement.
The administration of President Walter M. Bortz III (2000-2009) was a period of the greatest expansion of college facilities since the 1960s/70s. The academic program was revised to include minors and a concentration in environmental studies was added. Dr. Christopher B. Howard, the Collegeâ€™s first African-American president, began his term in 2009. Under his leadership, the College embarked on a new strategic plan to guide future development of the College as a model liberal arts institution recognized for excellence in educating men for the twenty-first century. Dr. J. Lawrence Stimpert became the 25th President of Hampden-Sydney College on July 1, 2016. Hampden-Sydney looks into its third century with a wholesome optimism, bred of a sober integrity of mission coupled with a history of sound development, and made possible by an extraordinary succession of leaders and benefactors of rare ability, commitment, and vision. Accreditation: Hampden-Sydney is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097; 404-679-4500) and is a member of the Association of Virginia Colleges, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, the Association of American Colleges, the Southern University Conference, the College Entrance Examination Board, the American Chemical Society, and the College Scholarship Service.