The stated purpose of Hampden-Sydney College is to develop humane and lettered men as well as to produce good citizens. While the classroom bears the major responsibility for achieving the academic goals, there are other aspects of the broad college experience which are supportive of this objective. In this regard, the athletic program can play an important role in attaining the goals of the college for those students who choose to participate in athletics.
The athletic program is important at any college, but is particularly important at Hampden-Sydney because of the overwhelming interest in our students in athletics - approximately 30% of the student body participates in intercollegiate athletics and over 70% participate in the intramural program. Athletics, quite simply, is vital to the wholeness of the College. Essentially, the program can be divided into several components: intramurals, intercollegiate athletics, lifetime sports, physical fitness, and recreation programs.
Intercollegiate athletics play a significant role at the College, not only because it provides an important extracurricular outlet for so many students, but also because competition is good for participants. The varsity intercollegiate program can be, and is, a true character-building experience. One learns from winning, from losing, and from playing the game. One learns something about coping with pressure, commitment, loyalty, self-discipline, sacrifice, and pain, as well as what it takes and means to compete. With many of all incoming freshman intending to participate in the intercollegiate program, the importance of athletics to the College is very clear. It should also be pointed out that many of the best students at Hampden-Sydney have also been varsity athletes who have made important contributions toward accomplishing the mission of the college.