Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) was founded in 1775, before the American revolution, in Virginia, USA. H-SC was founded by Samuel Stanhope Smith, a missionary. Classes began in November 1775 in contemporary wooden structures while the college buildings were being constructed. From the very beginning the college was fiercely pro-independence and the original students joined the revolutionary effort, organizing their own militia company which was present at the defences of Williamsburg and Petersburg in 1777 and 1778. The college takes its traditional colours, garnet and grey, from the colours of the student militia’s home-made uniforms. H-SC has continued to thrive and grow for almost two-and-a-half centuries and it is the 10th oldest college in the United States as well as one of only three all-male four-year liberal arts colleges in the country.
H-SC has a relatively small number of students from across the U.S. and teaches over 25 majors allowing students to work towards a bachelor’s of arts or a bachelor’s of science degree. H-SC is well regarded among similar private liberal arts colleges in America, and a decent proportion of its graduates go on to top level jobs in business, law and medicine. One of the unique aspects of the H-SC curriculum is the focus on rhetoric – all students must pass a rhetoric class proving their ability to argue persuasively and correctly both verbally and in writing. All students also take the Western Culture program, giving them a grounding in important historical and cultural events from antiquity to the present.
The rural campus is over 1300 acres of peaceful lawns and tree-lined paths linking clusters of red-brick college buildings and even includes its own lake.