Spartanburg-based Wofford College has established a new center for students interested in studying national security and foreign policy.
The Hipp Center for National Security and Foreign Policy features student opportunities for internships, as well as a planned exchange program, according to a news release. It also features an on-campus ReadyCam studio, giving the college the ability to connect its experts with broadcast networks around the world.
The center was made possible by a gift from Van. D. Hipp Jr., a 1982 Wofford College graduate and chairman of international defense consulting firm American Defense International, the release said.
“I believe that education is a national security issue,” Hipp said in the release. “It’s important that young people have a sense of history, what it means to be an American, and an understanding of national security and foreign policy.”
Hipp, who was commissioned into the U.S. Army through the ROTC program at Wofford and served on active duty in both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Restore Democracy, has been involved in defense and security matters as well as international policy issues throughout his career, the release said.
Hipp was named deputy assistant secretary of the Army in 1990, serving as the Army secretariat’s “point man” for the successful mobilization and demobilization of the Army’s reserve forces for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
In 2011, Hipp founded the Hipp Lecture Series on International Affairs and National Security at Wofford to engage student and faculty in history and world affairs. It has since featured former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, President Donald Trump, and others.
Hipp said many students have reached out to him over the years, asking for guidance in the national security arena. “I put them in touch with the right people, but I figured if we had a center at the college, we would have the mechanism in place with the right organizations to expose our students to singularly unique experiences.”
Wofford president Nayeff Samhat said the college is grateful for Hipp’s efforts.
“Van Hipp’s amazing and seemingly limitless network of connections offer the college community distinctive learning opportunities,” Samhat said in a statement. “We anticipate many transformational educational and experiential learning opportunities for our students as the Hipp Center continues to develop.”
For more information, visit wofford.edu/hippcenter.