Hampden-Sydney Students Return Home Enthused

by Howard W. Hewitt

October 17, 2006

Two Hampden-Sydney students left Wabash Tuesday with positive impressions and even a deeper interest in all-male education.

The experience was very similar for four Wabash students who visited the HSC campus Oct. 12 and 13. The Wabash delegation was Brock Johnson '07, Brandon Stewart '07, Sean Clerget '09, and Campbell Robbins '09.

The Wabash and Hampden-Sydney exchange came to an end Tuesday when Jeremy Forrest and Michael Rutkowski returned to Virginia to resume classes Wednesday at the other all-male college in the United States, Hampden-Sydney.

"Before this visit, Wabash was just ‘the other male school,’ Michael Rutkowski ’07 said. "Now, though, Wabash is for me a real, tangible place. I’ve come away with a renewed interest in the philosophy of an all-male institute. Though we’re hundreds of miles apart, it’s as if our schools are extensions of one another.

"I’ve found that we students both love our schools, our traditions, and our histories. I hope that in the years to come we will be able to discover more about what makes an all-male education so special, and that this only marks the beginning of a new dialogue between our two fine old schools."

The two HSC visitors went to Wabash classes Monday and picked up another class visit Tuesday. Forrest ’08 was hosted in the Beta House by Josh Owen ‘07 while Rutkowski stayed with Brock Johnson ‘07 in College Hall. The HSC journalists visited Tuesday with Dean of Students Tom Bambrey, Dean of the College Gary Phillips, attended an IFC meeting, and had lunch with President Patrick White.

The second part of the ‘exchange visit’ will begin Oct. 19 when the Bachelor begins publishing stories the Wabash men will write about their experiences in Virginia. Those stories are tentatively schedule to be published the 19th and 26th. By early November the two schools will exchange stories and the Bachelor will publish stories written by Forrest and Rutkowsi while the HSC paper, The Tiger, publishes the Wabash writers’ work. An early November issue of The Wabash Commentary will also feature stories about the Wabash visit to HSC.

Forrest, The Tiger editor, came away impressed with the breadth and depth of Wabash history and tradition.

"It is refreshing to see another college as dedicated to the liberal arts education and the creation of men with character as Hampden-Sydney is," he said. " I love the college’s Cultures and Traditions program. 

"The faculty that I met came across as very enthusiastic about teaching at Wabash and forming connections with the students. I was extremely pleased to see Dr. Blix come to the Beta house to eat dinner with Michael and I, something not too different from what you would see at Hampden-Sydney."

Forrest was impressed with how the school fit into the surrounding residential neighborhood. "Everyone I met was extremely friendly and helpful; I could definitely understand the sense of community that everyone told me about prior to my visit. On the whole, Hampden-Sydney and Wabash are not all that different. We both cultivate what is necessary to form good men while each college maintains its unique personality."

The exchange visit was sponsored by the Hampden-Sydney and Wabash College Public Affairs departments.


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