Col. Chris Hughes ’88

Col. Chris Hughes
Delivering the Marine Message
Work keeps Col. Chris Hughes ’88 moving around the world. The career military man, now Deputy Director at U.S. Marine Corps Public Affairs, has been stationed across the globe during his two and half decades of service, so Engage felt fortunate to grab a few minutes of his time by phone while he was in Seattle.

Hughes double majored in Economics and Religion, but after his time on the Hill he quickly felt the call of the duty, enlisting in the Marine Corps Reserves within weeks of graduating. At Hampden-Sydney, Hughes was a busy student who played football and stayed active in student government and his fraternity.

“At a young age I had some pretty heavy responsibilities and different groups that were counting on me to deliver; that prepared me for success in the Marine Corps,” he says. “Hampden-Sydney traditions have always been the base for me to fall back on: being a gentleman and serving with a sense of honor and social responsibility.”

Hughes has spent the past 15 years in public affairs with various assignments. He served in Afghanistan as NATO Regional Command Southwest’s Director of Public Affairs and did a stint in Iraq as Public Affairs Director for Multi-National Forces West in al-Anbar province. The job has also taken him to Australia, Bahrain, Kuwait and East Timor.

“I’ve served in a variety of capacities through a 25-year career and just had an absolute blast doing it,” Hughes says. “The institution I work for feels very similar to Hampden-Sydney in a number of ways. Both are very prestigious and well respected. Most importantly, they both do good things.”

Hughes is now permanently assigned in the Pentagon, where he’s involved in planning and messaging with senior leadership in the Marine Corps. Now that Hughes is back in the U.S., nearing the end of his active duty career, he’s excited to be able to do more with Hampden-Sydney. That includes recently being named to the alumni board.

“I treasure every moment I’m on campus,” Hughes says. “I’m humbled and honored to be asked to serve in any capacity where I can be of service to the college.”