Alex Zorko ‘22

Alex Zorko '22 in a Hampden-Sydney sweatshirt

The main reason why I chose to attend Hampden-Sydney College, at the time, was the opportunity to play tennis and pursue academics. I vividly remember the student tour that my mom and I received and the way the tour guide described the College. Whether it was the Career Center, the Wilson Center, the Alumni Network or simply the Brotherhood that one gets to experience, the student was proud to be a Hampden-Sydney man and a Tiger. We loved it so much that the next day we actually paid the fee to reserve a spot in the class of 2022. 

Outside of being a proud Wilson Fellow, in the past five semesters I have been involved with the Minority Student Union, Spanish Club, German Club, the Brother 4 Brother Mentorship program, College Activity Council, Madisonian, Pre-Law Society, Phi-Beta Lambda (Pre-Business Society), the Soccer Club, and the Varsity Tennis Team. I have had the pleasure to work in the Bortz Library, in the Office of Global Education, as a Resident Advisor, in the Office of Communications, as well as a tutor for German. 

Alex Zorko in Copenhagen
Zorko at the Alliance of Democracies summit
in Copenhagen

The number and variety of speakers that we have had the opportunity to listen to is amazing. As a foreign affairs major, it is always fascinating to see the wide range of alumni that H-SC has to offer. Ambassador McMullen ‘86, Henrik Rasmussen ‘03, and President Trible ’68 were some of my favorite speakers that have been on campus. By far the best part of the Wilson Center is their reach and the willingness to help students. I remember my freshman year when Dr. Pemberton pulled me aside, and asked me to come by the board room in the library with my resume printed out because he had an alumnus he wanted to introduce me to who could help me in my search for an internship. I was very excited. At that time I had heard about the Alumni Network but had not experienced it for myself. As I arrived, Dr. Pemberton immediately introduced me to Henrik Rasmussen ’03. Henrik and I talked for maybe ten minutes and after looking at my resume, he told me that he would reach out to some folks for an internship. I could not believe what just happened. Later that day, I emailed him to thank him for taking the time, and a couple of days later, I received an email inquiring if I wanted to become a volunteer for a summit hosted by the Alliance of Democracies in Copenhagen. 

The Wilson Leadership Fellow Program has shaped me in many ways. I have grown from my freshman year, and much is accredited to the Wilson Center. I would say that the Wilson Center and other Wilson Fellows have pushed me to get involved in the life of H-SC. Looking at my class of Wilson Fellows, we have had a mutual understanding of taking leadership positions across campus. While I am a member of the College Activities Council, I have friends who are juniors in the program, representing the Honor Court, the Senate, and other leadership roles. For me personally, I think the lesson that we all learn from the beginning is that a leader must step up and take action. 

I am not entirely sure what I will be doing after my time at H-SC. I could be pursuing my Master’s degree either here in the States or back in Europe. I am open to any opportunity, and right now I am giving it more time to see what other options may open up in the future.  

Jason Covaney ‘22

Jason Covaney in baseball uniform

Why I chose H-SC: I chose Hampden-Sydney first and foremost because I wanted to have a small and intimate classroom and campus setting. Since my dad Mike (‘93) is an alumnus of the college, it was an easy decision. I love how the school is so tight-knit and how much weight a degree from Hampden-Sydney carries, and I knew it was the best place for me. 

I currently compete on the swim team and baseball team, I am an RA, and a member of Alpha Chi Sigma and the Wilson Leadership Fellows Program (WFLP). 

What I have enjoyed most about the WLFP is being able to have the opportunity to listen to so many guest speakers and their takes on leadership in many of its different aspects in life, at school, and in the workplace. 

ason Covaney '22 with his father, Michael Covaney '93
Jason Covaney ’22 with his father Michael ’93

Simply put, the WLFP, combined with the standards instilled by the college, has allowed me not only to grow as a good man and good citizen, but also as a leader. Being a leader is being a good citizen, so I think that the WLFP has helped me live out the standards of the college. 

After Hampden-Sydney, I plan on entering graduate school to focus on astrophysics, with the goal of earning my PhD in the field. After that, I hope to work as a researcher in the space industry, such as NASA, SpaceX, etc. 

Andrew Smith ’22

Andrew Smith headshot
  • Why did you choose HSC?
    I chose Hampden-Sydney because I was looking for a smaller college that would provide me with opportunities to succeed. I came on an overnight visit my senior year of high school and immediately felt at home. I met some incredible people and wanted to develop the close relationships I saw on campus between students, alumni, faculty, and staff.
  • What activities have you been engaged with on campus?
    In addition to serving as a Wilson Fellow, I am a member of the Garnet and Grey Society, the President’s Men, and the Pre-Health Society. I am in Alpha Epsilon Delta, a health pre-professional honor society. I have also served as the annotator and COVID-19 chair for the Sigma Chi Fraternity.
  • What have you enjoyed most about the Wilson Leadership Fellows program?
    I have enjoyed meeting my fellow members in the program. It provided an environment to meet other leaders that have been in every organization I am involved with on campus. Now that my brother is a freshman in the program, I look forward to working with him at events, too.
  • How has the WLFP helped you grow as a person, student, or leader?
    The program has allowed me to examine leadership through a different lens than I did in the past. We get to talk about leadership in an academic setting and practice what we have learned in a controlled environment. I have also had amazing mentors through the program who have improved my overall college experience.
  • What are your plans after HSC?
    Following graduation, I plan on going to medical school.
Andrew Smith with his brother
Andrew, pictured with his brother Jack ’24

Lucio Chavez ’22

Lucio Chavez headshot
  • Why did you choose HSC?
    When applying to colleges, I never expected one to show as much interest in me as Hampden-Sydney did. I felt like part of the brotherhood through the interactions that I had during my first visit. The close-knit environment makes the campus seem less like a college campus and more like community. There is no other college that delivers this atmosphere of brotherhood. 
  • What activities have you been engaged with on campus?
    In addition to serving as a Wilson Leadership Fellow, I am president of the Pre-Law Society, vice president of the Outsiders Club, associate editor of The Tiger, a resident advisor, a peer advisor for a freshman advisory group, chairman of the Orientation and Service Leaders, a member of the Brother for Brother program, and a junior member of UPLS.
  • What have you enjoyed most about the Wilson Leadership Fellows program?
    What I have enjoyed most about the program is the small group conversations. Being able to hold conversations with fellow students has helped expand my understanding of leadership. 
  • How has the WLFP helped you grow as a person, student, or leader?
    The WLFP and the Intro to Leadership course have helped sharpen my ideals. The program introduced me to ways and beliefs that have helped me grow as a Hampden-Sydney man. As I have assumed positions of leadership throughout my time in college, the program has become a stepping-stone to becoming a better leader. The instructors within the program have expanded my knowledge in leader-follower relations and defining my role as a leader.
  • What are your plans after HSC?
    I plan to pursue a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in social policy; I also hope to attend law school in the later future. I am excited that Hampden-Sydney and the Wilson Center have established formal relationships with programs at Cornell, Pepperdine, and Batten at UVA. I plan to look at all three programs closely.
Lucio Chavez
left to right, Virginia state Senator Jennifer L. McClellan, Lucio Chavez ’22, and Cynthia Hudson, Virginia’s chief deputy attorney

Josh Hall

Josh Hall

Why did you choose Hampden-Sydney?

Hampden-Sydney offered me an opportunity to further my education in an environment that acknowledged my merit as not only a student, but as an individual. When the school evaluated my student profile, they reviewed more than just my GPA. While my academic resume was solid on paper, HSC showed equal, if not more, interest in who I was as a person.

What activities have you been involved with in on campus?

My freshman year I was a walk-on member of the basketball team. Since then I have let basketball go to pursue a higher GPA, become a Resident Advisor, and serve as vice president of the Minority Student Union. I have also been chosen to be a student member of the Intercultural Affairs Committee and made significant motions to found a NAACP chapter on campus, in addition to joining the radio and music production club.

What have you enjoyed most about the Wilson Leadership Fellows Program?

I have found great value in the skills that the Wilson Center teaches about commitment and time management. As a freshman, the program can be challenging at times because it requires you to monitor your emails and schedule your work around irregular events. Since most events are encouraged but not mandatory, regular attendance shows how committed you are to the program and how willing you are to seek out opportunities and connections that you would never have known if you missed those events.

How has the Wilson Leadership Fellows Program helped you grow as a person, student, or leader?

The Wilson Center has helped me realize that personal integrity is what makes a leader. Simply belonging to a group of leaders is not enough, and leadership is not about the resume builders or the accolades or the acknowledgements. Leadership is about following one’s own ethical compass, uplifting the community around oneself, and encouraging others to do the same. A leader does not wait for an order or a cultural shift to take action.

What are your plans after H-SC?

After Hampden-Sydney, I plan to pursue a law degree.

Josh Hall

Andrew Rehak

Andrew RehakWhy did you choose Hampden-Sydney?

The small size really made Hampden-Sydney feel like a home. I had considered a few other colleges, but I knew H-SC was the right choice as soon as I made my first visit to campus. After one year here, I can say that the ability to work closely with professors has proven to be an invaluable advantage.

What activities have you been involved with in on campus?

I am the vice president of the Mentor Program, the secretary of the Environmental Club, and a member of the Pre-Health Society. I am also on the swim team and have been chosen to be the Resident Advisor for the Modern American Leaders living and learning community.

What have you enjoyed most about the Wilson Leadership Fellows Program?

I have really enjoyed the people I have met; from other students to the guests speakers, they have all been positive influences in my life. Moreover, the Wilson Center has helped me develop my own ideas about leadership and has taught me how to be a more effective leader.

How has the Wilson Leadership Fellows Program helped you grow as a person, student, or leader?

Through the various lectures, class presentations, group discussions, and self-reflections, I believe I have grasped a few key ideas that allow me to be a more effective leader. Each of the guests that spoke in the 2019-2020 academic year brought some new insight to the table, and the culmination of their ideas has caused me to grow both as a person and a leader.

What are your plans after H-SC?

Following my graduation, I plan to attend medical school where I hope to further my studies and specialize in anesthesiology.

Andrew Rehak

Ian Lichacz ’22

  1. Ian Lichacz '22 headshotWhy did you choose HSC?
    I think the easiest way to explain it is the fact that I felt like there was something special about the College. Something that I could only understand if I decided to call Hampden-Sydney my home away from home for four years. After two years on the Hill now, I can safely say Hampden-Sydney is a special place for a multitude of reasons from the Brotherhood to the Honor Code we all sign. You also can never forget the tailgating that is almost a tradition in itself.
  2. With what activities have you been involved at HSC?
    I have had the honor to serve on the Student Senate for two terms. I was elected treasurer of my fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon. I have served as secretary for the College Republicans. I have helped re-found the History Club in junction with assisting our new public history program. I currently work as a rhetoric consultant in our new Rhetoric Center. One of my favorite activities on campus is volunteering with the Garnet & Grey Society. There is nothing like helping young men make the right decision by choosing to come to Hampden-Sydney College.
  3. What have you enjoyed most about the Wilson Leadership Fellows Program?
    The new four-year program so far has been quite the experience. With the first-year programming and Society of ’91, there has been a lot to take in. I guess I could say what I have enjoyed most is having my idea of what leadership is completely turned upside down. Between reading leadership theory and hearing from guest speakers, I have learned there is a lot more to leadership then I ever realized. The relationship between leaders and followers alone is something someone could spend a substantial amount of time researching and learning about.
  4. How has the Wilson Leadership Fellows Program helped you grow as a person, student, or leader?
    I think the easiest way to explain this answer is by saying the Wilson Center has provided me so many opportunities. In just two years I have been able to go to Washington, D.C. three times thanks to the Wilson Center. After each one of those trips, I walked away with some new information that I found quite valuable. The information has ranged from foreign policy to domestic agriculture policy. Aside from the trips I have been able to go on, I have also been able to have dinner with some amazing guests. This year alone I was able to enjoy great conversations with the Honorable Paul Trible ’68 and Ambassador Ed McMullen ’86. The new Wilson Center program is shaping up to be something very special, and I say that with great confidence.
  5. Ian Lichacz '22What are your plans after HSC?
    My current plans for after I finish my time at Hampden-Sydney are very malleable, but there are two things that I know I want to do, the first being taking some time to restore historic buildings across Virginia with the hopes of flipping them and getting them appreciated once again. With rapid growth happening across Virginia, now more than ever we have to protect our Commonwealth’s history. The second thing I have my eyes set on is running for City Council in my hometown of Virginia Beach. I have served on city council-appointed commissions since I was sixteen and have always wanted the opportunity to substantially give back to my community. Once I get some work experience under my belt, I have every intention on setting out to serve my neighbors and fellow residents on City Council.

Ian Fitzgerald ’22

  1. Ian Fitzgerald '22 headshotWhy did you choose HSC?
    I chose H-SC because it felt like home the first time I visited the campus. The people I met throughout my visits during high school made me feel as though I was already a part of the close-knit family that is the H-SC campus even before my freshman year.
  2. With what activities have you been involved at HSC?
    Throughout out my time at Hampden-Sydney, I have been a Wilson Leadership Fellow, a member of the soccer team, Wilson Center freshman peer advisor, Student Athlete Mentor (SAM), resident advisor, and a member of the Garnet & Grey Society.
  3. What have you enjoyed most about the Wilson Leadership Fellows program?
    The thing that I have enjoyed most about being a Wilson Center fellow is being exposed to all different aspects of leadership. Through lectures, forums, symposia, excursions, and interactive activities, I have been exposed to unique and exciting ways to lead people.
  4. How has the Wilson Leadership Fellows Program helped you grow as a person, student, or leader?
    The Wilson Center has helped me develop traits that make me a better person, student, and leader. I have learned to communicate well and to establish good relationships with the people you surround yourself with because without those two things, no substantial progress can be made on anything.
  5. What are your plans after HSC?
    I plan to pursue a law degree and an MBA.

Ian Fitzgerald '22 with Professor Pontuso