Hampden-Sydney College receives $6M gift
Rob and Cindy Citrone donate college's second-largest gift ever
Hampden-Sydney College has received its second-largest gift in its 245-year history — a $6 million gift from Rob (an alum) and Cindy Citrone to support the college’s experiential learning program Compass.
“Rob and Cindy have long been devoted champions of the college’s mission and our efforts to strengthen the experience we offer young men,” President Larry Stimpert said in a statement. “We are grateful for their support for a program that will raise the profile of the college, strengthen our educational program and even better prepare students to compete for top jobs and graduate programs.”
The Compass program allows students to learn through opportunities including internships, study abroad, research, service learning and hands-on classroom experiences. The program began with pilot courses in 2018 and officially became a graduation requirement for incoming students in fall 2019. Students must take at least three experiential learning courses, one of which must be primarily off campus. The Citrones’ gift will support programming and staffing for off-campus study, internships and an expansion of the Ferguson Career Center.
“Hampden-Sydney introduced me to novel ideas, outside-the-box thinking and unparalleled mentors whose guidance helped to shape my approach to life,” Rob Citrone, a Hampden-Sydney trustee and the founder, managing member and sole principal of Discovery Capital Management LLC, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to support this innovative educational program that applies Hampden-Sydney’s enduring strengths to a new method of learning that will even better help students find direction and derive the most value from their college experience.”
The program will continue this fall despite COVID-19 challenges through the college’s “10-4” calendar, under which each student will take three or four courses during the first 10 weeks of the fall semester and only one or two courses during the final four-week period.
“Across society, the past six months have been defined by disruption, adaptation, and innovation,” Cindy Citrone, a pediatric occupational therapist and former Hampden-Sydney trustee, said in a statement. “It is more critical than ever that colleges expose students to experiences that broaden their perspectives as well as their skillsets, and strengthen their abilities to reflect on and apply what they learn and experience.” The Citrones have also previously sponsored Hampden-Sydney’s participation in the JED Foundation’s emotional health and suicide prevention efforts.
Rob Citrone graduated as the valedictorian of the Hampden-Sydney class of 1987 and earned his bachelor’s degree in honors math and economics, and earned his master’s degree in business administration from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia in 1990. A Hampden-Sydney College trustee for 30 years, he is global macro investor focused on emerging markets.
Cindy Citrone graduated summa cum laude from The Ohio State University and currently serves on the President’s Council for Student Well-Being at Carnegie Mellon University. She is also a member of the advisory board of the Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy and serves on the board of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Both of the Citrones are members of the Pittsburgh Steelers ownership group. The couple lives in Connecticut.
“The college has never received a gift that will strengthen our academic program in the way that this will,” Dean of the Faculty Mike McDermott said in a statement.