From its earliest days, African American men have served the college as groundskeepers. They plowed, planted, and landscaped the campus to keep it beautiful and functional for students and faculty. And, more often than not, groundskeepers also worked as janitors and bell ringers. They scrubbed and fixed buildings, and stood in the bell tower and rang the old bell by hand to signal the beginning and end of classes and mealtimes. To this day, the college employs someone to ring the bell rather than making it automatic.
Click the photos below to learn more about specific families’ connections to Hampden-Sydney
John Evans, janitor, bell ringer, and groundskeeper, plows a field behind Penshurst. Read about the Evans family here.
Sam Brown rings the bell for the opening of the 171st session, September 10, 1946. Read about Sam’s family here.
Francis Randolph, fondly known as “Francis the Axeman,” came from a long line of Randolphs at H-SC. His cousin became a bell ringer at the college, and members of his family have worked at the college for over 100 years. Read about the randolph family here.
Stokes Brown rings the bell in the old bell tower. Read about his family here.
Pat Terry, groundskeeper, poses with Dr. J.E. Booker and the college’s first gasoline lawn mower. Read more about Pat Terry’s family here.
Sam Hines [1968 Kaleidoscope] served the college for over 18 years, and his wife, Alice Hines worked at H-SC for over 30. Read more here.
The Lambert and Anderson families were fixtures at the college for nearly a century. Read about them here.