An exciting part of our newly established year three of the Wilson Leadership Fellows program is a mentorship component. Mentorship is one of our three pedagogical pillars. The others are reflection and practice, along with community. Throughout the program, fellows are mentored by upperclassmen at various sessions, service projects, and workshops, as well as by their leadership advisors, who work with the same fellows for their entire four years. At the start of year three, fellows are also assigned an alumni/trustee mentor whom they will work with for two years. These mentors are engaged Wilson Center volunteers, members of the Board of Advisors, or members of the James Madison Society (a group of former Hampden-Sydney trustees who are committed to serving the College and its outstanding young men).
A key purpose of this alumni mentorship component is to ensure our fellows know they are supported fully by the larger Hampden-Sydney community. Specifically, mentors work with fellows to support their entry into a chosen profession and the Hampden-Sydney alumni network. Matches were made virtually (unfortunately, because of COVID-19 precautions) at the start of the academic year. We do hope to host a mentor/mentee in-person outing this spring at Red Hill, Patrick Henry’s Charlotte County home.
Mentor and mentee discussions may include specific class work that supports entrance into a given profession or graduate school, academic/co-curricular balance, professional networking, and entrance into the Hampden-Sydney alumni network. We are excited about the development of these relationships, and we thank our mentors for making an investment in the lives of our outstanding young men!