Leaving As Men: Hampden-Sydney Commencement 2016


Founded in Virginia in 1776, Hampden-Sydney College is America’s 10th oldest and one of only three remaining all-male schools. Earlier this month the college, whose motto is “come here as boys so you may leave as men,” graduated its class of 2016. Here are some photos of the commencement, along with other shots of campus life, taken from the school’s social media accounts.

Note the prevalence of bow ties, so dear to the South, and the slick kid at commencement already in “strictly post-collegiate” bit loafers, and sans socks, no less. — CC









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21 Comments on "Leaving As Men: Hampden-Sydney Commencement 2016"

  1. John T. Marshall | May 23, 2016 at 5:57 pm |

    Refreshing, well-turned out, looking eager, confident, well-educated – and they seem to know how to use a razor as well!

  2. I wouldn’t trade the coeducational experience for much, but being able to officially use the slogan from that last photo would be tremendous.

  3. Bit loafers appear to be Ferragamos. The cigar chomping, (midday no less, poor form ol boy) cane pointing fellow could be saying “what we got here is a failure to communicate” from the looks of that hat.

  4. Yes, I was going to say his bit loafers aren’t quite right, but he’s young and at least he’s got the right idea.

  5. Ctrl+Alt+Delete | May 23, 2016 at 10:41 pm |

    They can keep the bow ties and blazers. I’ll take the females.

  6. The fellow taking aim is John Brinkley. Professor of Classics. Graduate of HSC, Trinity College (Cambridge), and Princeton. Rhodes Scholar.

  7. Lots of fun times on this campus back in the 80s …

  8. Rick Woodward | May 24, 2016 at 1:07 pm |

    I am W&L 1973 and have a number of HSC friends. W&L going coed in the 80s inspired one of my favorite bumper stickers of all time: Hamden-Syndey College: Where Men are Men and Women are Guests.

  9. Bit loafers without socks are strictly post-collegiate? Oops.

  10. A bumper sticker, better still, and a rejoinder to comments similar to at 10:41, that sadly didn’t make past the PC police of the last few decades:
    “We don’t need our own women, we are doing fine with yours.”

  11. Pedantic Semantics | May 24, 2016 at 5:21 pm |

    @Rick Woodward

    I am W&L 2013 and my father was W&L 1979. We found a similar sticker when cleaning out an attic:

    “Women at W&L? What Next? Men at Hampden-Sydney?”

  12. Having worked for a company that only hired Hampden-Sydney men, (I was an exception), I can say that the fellows I encountered were gentlemen of the first order.


  13. Prompted by this post, I did a deeper dive and came upon this bit of info from Wikipedia:

    “As one of only a few higher educational institutions for men, and being older than the nation in which it is located, Hampden–Sydney College has a unique culture. Students are also issued a copy of To Manner Born, To Manners Bred: A Hip-pocket Guide to Etiquette for the Hampden–Sydney Man, which covers everything from basic manners, how to greet and introduce people, how to respond to invitations, how to dress, the difference between a black-tie and white-tie event, how to choose a wine, etc. The college publishes the book as a useful tool for existing successfully in a variety of social settings.”

    All praise to S-HC!

  14. Roger C. Russell II | May 24, 2016 at 10:02 pm |

    I like the style of Professor Brinkley. Regional differences make the world a more stylish and interesting place. Also, if the man happens to have fare skin and a bad hip he looks good while coping with the issues.
    Hotty Toddy

  15. While he embodied the very definition of “gentleman scholar,” Brinkley could also be a little bit intimidating (and knew it) swinging that damn cane! With the exception of the clearly more diverse student body, it is eerie how much the recent graduation pics above otherwise look nearly identical to mine from the late ’80s.

  16. “Hampden Sydney: where the men are men, and the sheep are scared.”

  17. Paul must have attended “Washington & Leigh”

  18. Nope. Just repeating what I heard in old Venable hall from HSC student body members themselves.

  19. I actually lived in the west basement of Venable prior to the mid-80s renovation. It was both crappy and cool at the same time!

  20. Another alumnus checking in, ’85 in my case. I never had John Brinkley for any classes, I did however survive a couple years with Alan Farrell the legendary French professor, one Summer session we did a year of French in three weeks, six days a week, by the end I was dreaming in French. H-SC in those days was a world of unlocked doors, a place where you could leave your keys in your car, I often did, it was a different world. The look was rather rough around the edges, lots of un-tucked shirts, hunting gear, and ancient khakis. I remember having a contest with a friend to see which of us could go the longest without shaving or showering. It really was prep school with beer, but I loved every minute of it.

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