HU Alumna Dr. Joan Wickham Donates $2M to Her Alma Mater to Establish a Music Endowment Fund

Hampton, Va. (February 28, 2024) –Hampton University proudly announces a transformative donation from esteemed alumna Dr. Joan Wickham, class of ‘78.

Wickham has pledged $2 million in estate planned giving to her alma mater to establish the Dr. Joan Teresa McMillan Wickham Endowed Scholarship Fund. This fund will provide two annual scholarships to a deserving male and female concert choir student, honoring Wickham’s passion for music and her dedication to Hampton University.

“Dr. Joan Wickham’s generous donation of $2 million to establish an endowment fund for Hampton University Concert Choir students embodies the spirit of philanthropy and commitment to excellence that defines the HU community,” said HU President Darrell K. Williams. “Her support will empower future generations of talented musicians to thrive and excel, leaving an indelible mark on our institution and the world of music.”

Wickham’s connection to HU runs deep. She earned a Bachelor of Science in music education from Hampton University and went on to achieve three additional degrees from the institution: a master’s in secondary education with a concentration in voice, a master’s in educational leadership, and a doctorate in educational leadership and management with a focus on higher education.

“I want to afford future HU students an opportunity of a Hampton education so they, too, can receive an ‘education for life,’” said Wickham. “The Concert Choir is my second family and I truly believe we are obligated to give back.” Wickham was a member of the HU Concert Choir as an undergraduate and currently assists in its day-to-day operations.

Born and raised in Columbia, S.C., Wickham attributes her life’s journey and achievements to the education she received at Hampton University. Her commitment to the university spans over four decades, during which she has served in various capacities. Wickham currently holds the position of director of Parent Relations in the Office of Alumni Affairs and Parent Relations.

“We are very honored to be the recipient of Dr. Joan Wickham’s estate planning gift as well as her faithful financial contributions over the years,” said Evelyn Graham, vice president, Office of Advancement and External Engagement. “Dr. Wickham’s gift is a testament to her hard work at Hampton, her dedication and passion that will inspire future generations.”

Wickham’s generous contribution will not only support current and future students but also perpetuate the legacy of excellence and philanthropy at HU. Her dedication exemplifies the spirit of giving back and empowering the next generation of leaders.


Founded in 1868, Hampton University has been the Standard of Excellence in higher education for over 150 years. Rich in history and tradition, Hampton University is recognized as one of the top historically black colleges and universities in the world, and recently named the top private university in Virginia. Hampton provides a broad range of technical, liberal arts and graduate degree programs. HU is a tightly-knit community of learners and educators representing 49 states and 35 territories and nations. For media inquiries, please contact Sarita Scott in the Office of University Relations, at 757.727.5253.