Hampden-Sydney receives $12M gift from alum’s estate
Bequeathment is school's second-largest gift
Hampden-Sydney College announced Tuesday it has received a $12 million gift — the second-largest in the history of the 245-year-old private men’s college — from the estate of a 1937 graduate and his wife.
The estate of M. Blair Dickinson Jr. and Sarah “Lucile” Lawton Dickinson bequeathed the gift to the college, which Blair Dickinson and his father attended. A lifelong educator, Dickinson was a high school principal in Fauquier County and in Florida, and he and his wife taught at American schools in Japan, Germany and Italy. He died in 1984 in Florida, and Lucile Dickinson died in 2019 at the age of 95. His father, Blair Dickinson Sr., was an 1892 Hampden-Sydney graduate who served on the college’s board of trustees, and the family includes many H-SC alumni.
The Dickinsons met as instructors at North Carolina State University just after World War II, in which Blair Dickinson was a naval officer and Lucile Dickinson served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps in the women’s division of the aviation corps.
“Furthering their lifelong commitment to education, Blair and Lucile Dickinson’s incredible act of devotion and generosity will forever support the college’s mission and its academic program,” President Larry Stimpert said in a statement. “Let us all be humbled by, and grateful for, their lives of service to education and their decision to honor the college in their estate plans. Their generosity secures for them an enduring legacy in the storied history of Hampden-Sydney College.”