Andrew Stoddard ’14
Former Classics Professor John Brinkley gave money to Hampden-Sydney College every year from 1959 until his death earlier this year. It wasn’t always a large amount (his first donation was $5), but Brinkley always gave what he could and even left his estate to the College.
This week, current students have been honoring Brinkley’s legacy by making monetary donations of their own as part of “Brinkley Week”. Formerly known as Student Philanthropy Week, the name change has had a positive impact on the campaign.
“Professor Brinkley embodied everything we want to be because he gave what he could every year. It allows us to put a face to our campaign,” said Tarun Sharma ’15, Chairman of the Student Giving Campaign. “The name change is a great way to spread [Professor Brinkley’s] legacy so he is remembered,” added Spencer Conover ’10, Assistant Director of Annual Giving in the Department of Institutional Advancement.
The board of students in charge of Brinkley does not have a specific monetary goal in mind. Rather, what is more important to the success of the campaign is participation among students. “We want to get out, talk to people and encourage them to better invest in their education,” Sharma said. The official goal for the week from the Institutional Advancement Office in Estcourt is 45% participation, which is up from the approximate 30% participation totals in years past.
The Brinkley Week Campaign has been offering some incentives to encourage students to participate. For any student that gave $20, they were given a long-sleeved Brinkley Week t-shirt as a thank you for their gift. Also, students giving to the campaign were entered into a raffle that took place last night. Among the prizes given away were polo shirts and other clothing items from Brooks Brothers.
“We’re not in the business of selling raffle tickets or other things, but it does make students more inclined to give,” Sharma said.
To meet their goals, the Brinkley Week campaign volunteers had two separate dorm storms on Tuesday and Wednesday night, going to the freshmen dorms on Tuesday and Venable Hall and Bortz Library on Wednesday. The campaign also looked to target certain student groups, especially fraternities and athletics teams.
At the end of our interview, Sharma and Conover emphasized the importance of this campaign beyond this week and the amount of money given.
“It’s incredibly important because we’re working to ensure the best future for Hampden-Sydney,” Conover said. Sharma added “the beneficiaries of this campaign are all around you, from students to the faculty to even the lights in our buildings. This student campaign not only helps to improve our current situation, but also to set an example for the future and instill giving to the College in our students, so that they will give in the future.”
As of press time, the official percent participation and money totals for Brinkley Week had not been announced. For more information, “like” Brinkley Week on Facebook and follow @BrinkleyWeek on Twitter.