Congratulations to Benton Downer (Hampden-Sydney, Iota ‘74) who was inducted into the Hampden-Sydney College Athletic Hall of Fame on September 8, 2023.
Benton was recognized for his prowess as a collegiate lacrosse player and, as a freshman, helped build an early club team into a competitive NCAA program. Benton was Hampden Sydney’s leading scorer in the 1976 and 1977 seasons.
The H-SC Athletic Hall of Fame citation reads: Benton Downer, Class of ’77, helped found the Hampden-Sydney College lacrosse program and worked to recruit and build the program while still a freshman. He was directly involved in organizing the club teams in 1974 and 1975. A fast midfielder and strong left-handed attackman with a keen eye for the goal, Downer led the Tigers in scoring as a junior and senior when lacrosse had grown and evolved into an NCAA/USILA varsity program. The Charlottesville native scored 30 points in 1976, and followed with 44 goals and 52 points in 1977 during the program’s first winning season (10-6)—the 44 goals and 52 points remain among the top single-season totals for midfielders in program history.
Benton was initiated at Iota in 1974 and has resided in Charlottesville since 1977 where he works as a realtor and broker operating Downer & Associates, a commercial real estate firm active across Central Virginia. He is a past president of the Charlottesville Albemarle Board of Realtors and past board member of the Virginia Association of Realtors.
Benton and his wife Catherine Maino have five children between them and six grandchildren with another on the way in November.
With a large family, a successful business and other community obligations, Benton makes time to serve on Iota’s Alumni Advisory Board as a miscellaneous advisor with an active role chairing a facilities subcommittee working with the chapter on its university-sponsored campus housing.
Congratulations Benton on your many accomplishments and thanks for your years of friendship in the brotherhood and your continued engagement within PiKA.
Photo caption: Joining Benton on his right, Dave Riddick (Hampden-Sydney, Iota ’74). On his left, Hampden-Sydney College President Larry Stimpert.
About Iota Chapter: The chapter was founded in 1885 and has operated for 134 of the last 138 years with only a brief break in the 2010s. Iota is the ninth chapter of PiKA and hosted the 1899 Convention which was a critical turning point in the Fraternity’s ongoing expansion. Iota has initiated over 1,500 gentlemen and today‘s active chapter counts 30 brothers, who enjoy the support of an active alumni advisory board and a committed alumni association.