Dear Hampton University Community: As we approach the Thanksgiving season, so much is changing across the learning environment, and I want to sincerely thank all who helped Hampton University meet this challenge. Many colleges and universities, large and small, public and private, are beset by money woes, forced closings, staff layoffs, and growing financial needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we are not out of the woods yet, Hampton has been fortunate. So many of you have played an important role in Hampton’s goal to weather the COVID- 19 pandemic, and I can never thank you enough.
Dear Hampton University Community: I pray that you and your family are remaining healthy and safe as our nation continues to confront the challenges we face due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout this semester, I have been in contact with faculty, staff, and students who have reported that this semester is going well. Both faculty and students are actively engaged in the teaching/learning process and have adjusted to virtual instruction.
Dear Hampton University Class of 2020:
If our circumstances and lives were following a normal pattern, you would be here on campus just days away from graduation. You would be celebrating, attending parties and banquets, memorializing your time here in pictures, reminiscing with friends, and awaiting the arrival of your family members and friends, all in preparation of Hampton University’s 150th Commencement ceremony. It saddens me that our nation and the world are navigating new circumstances that do not allow for normalcy, circumstances that have placed one of the most important days of your lives on hold.
I want you to know that we miss you. We miss seeing you around campus. We miss seeing you taking pictures in caps and gowns at the entrance to the campus. We miss celebrating with you and your parents at the Senior Banquet. I miss presenting the W. Adrian Freeman Award at the banquet. This year’s recipient is Ashanti Sallee who will be pursuing the Ph. D. in Materials Science and Nano-engineering. I miss presenting the President’s Cup Award in person at Ogden Hall. By the way, I gave the President’s Cup to all five finalists this year. They were James Griffin, Morgan Martin, LaShai McCullough, Rachel Sutton and Briana Wills. Congratulations to all of the award recipients. Perhaps most of all, we will miss seeing your wonderful smiling faces at our Commencement Exercises on Mother’s Day.
The University plans to honor your achievements during a graduation ceremony in the fall. If conditions permit, the ceremony will be held Sunday, September 27, 2020. Although the ceremony will be delayed, the completion of your degrees will not. Many of you will be moving on to graduate school and jobs. As your President, I celebrate your accomplishments. Before you enter this next phase, allow me to share with you some words of wisdom.
As you depart Hampton University, I challenge you, each in your own way, to allow your academic experiences at Hampton to serve as the foundation upon which you build productive careers. Allow your social interactions with faculty, staff, administrators, and your fellow students to guide you as you interact with individuals in the workplace and in society, and allow the University’s commitment to you to be a model for your commitment back to yourself, your family, your community, and your alma mater.
It is my desire for you to live richly, satisfying personal lives filled with love and laughter, to find ways to make your community a better place for yourselves and your neighbors, to grow and to continue learning for the rest of your lives. Remember that you are conquerors, and you have the courage and the strength to overcome every obstacle set before you.
Graduates, each of you has successfully completed multiple years of rigorous training and skill development to earn your degree. You have proven your readiness for success. You have done well. Now, you have a different job to do, for the greatest things have not been done. The greatest picture has not been painted. The greatest book has not been written. The greatest song is yet unsung. There is a job for you, graduating Class of 2020, in every occupation known to man. It is your responsibility to make something happen!
My charge to you is to see the horizon not as a limit, but as an invitation. The torch has been passed to you with the expectation that you will hold it higher and carry it farther than those who walked before you. My solemn hope and greatest wish, as you depart our Home by the Sea, is that you do for the world what your alma mater has done for you— impart knowledge, share your wisdom, nurture and guide, and maintain the highest ethical standards in all that you do. Be true to yourselves and hone that truth in others.
I urge you to do several other things: (1) Pay yourself first, saving something from every paycheck; and (2) Buy some property—it appreciates. That new car will not; it will depreciate. (3) Stay away from drugs and drug dealers. If they do not destroy your life, they will certainly make it miserable. As I said earlier – Do not be common. Do not be ordinary. Anybody can be those things.
Remember always to support your alma mater—with your resources, with positive words, and with your prayers. I want you to say to yourselves—“I will always support Hampton. I will support Hampton with my words, my deeds, and my treasure.” As you leave our Home by the Sea, remember that you are responsible for sustaining the legacy of the Hampton Empire. So, I now charge you – members of Onyx XI Class of 2020—
- Be positive role models
- Be men and women who are trusted and always speak truth
- Be leaders in your respective fields
- Be men and women who value integrity, respect, responsible behavior and trust.
- In other words, be somebody!
I congratulate you on what you have already achieved, and I rejoice, for I truly believe that the world will be made better because of the Hampton University Class of 2020. The world is waiting for you. Serve it and Hampton well. Be safe. Be strong. Be positive.
With all good wishes,
William R. Harvey
Dear Hampton University Educational Support Staff: Hampton University is committed keeping the campus community safe, inf ormed and healthy as concern about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) grows. To date, there are no positive persons among the campus community. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Coronavirus spread a pandemic, and the purpose of this correspondence is to update you regarding the University’s plan of action regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Hampton University is closely monitoring the situation and assessing the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), as well as our own policies regarding infectious disease. As a result, the Infectious Disease and Prevention Working Group has convened and developed a plan of action.
Hampton, Virginia 23668
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
Dear Hampton University Community:
One of the chief responsibilities of Hampton University is to ensure the health and safety of our students and other members of the Hampton Family. With this in mind, we are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19), including guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health. Fortunately, there have been no reported or suspected positive cases on our campus.
Out of an abundance of caution concerning the virus, two weeks ago we activated the Infectious Disease and Prevention Working Group. The group is chaired by Dr. Barbara Inman, Vice President for Administrative Services. She along with the other members of the group representing various constituencies on campus have done an outstanding job of planning and preparing to deal with COVID-19. Others who have provided outstanding leadership include: Dr. JoAnn Haysbert, Chancellor and Provost; Mrs. Doretha Spells, Vice President for Business Affairs & Treasurer; and Dr. Karen Williams, Medical Director of the Health Center. The campus community is very appreciative of their efforts as they have met daily since being activated and been diligent in their work.
As a result of the group’s planning and preparation, the University is taking the following actions:
- Canceling all in-person classes effective Friday, March 13, 2020 through Friday, April 3, 2020. All courses will be taught remotely. Remote instruction will begin Tuesday, March 17, 2020. We will reassess our decision periodically to determine if the end date for remote instruction will change.
Hourly, over the next four days, including Saturday morning, faculty will receive additional training on the delivery of on-line instruction and be given web-based access to other useful materials. Students will also have access to video training to assist in their transition to the on-line learning environment.
Remote instruction requires that faculty and students adhere to the course schedule, meaning that all parties should be engaged in instruction and learning during the normal class hours via Blackboard.
- Requiring all students, except for international students, to depart the campus by 12 noon on Sunday, March 15, 2020. Residence Halls will be closed. Housing provisions will be made for any international students who may need accommodations. Any other student who may need housing during this time must contact their Residence Hall Director by 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020 to request accommodations and provide the reason for their request to remain on campus. Making a request does not guarantee that housing will be made available. Students will be notified of the decision related to their request by Friday, March 13, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. Any student not approved to remain on campus must make arrangements to depart the campus. Modified dining services for students approved to remain on campus will be provided.
- Suspending all non-essential visitation to the campus until further notice
- Suspending all university-related domestic and international travel
- Suspending all on campus events through April 5, 2020
- Canceling High School Day and the Lady Pirates’ participation in the Big South Basketball Tournament
- Postponing the Annual Conference on the Black Family, the Freshman Ball, and the Freshman Fashion Show.
The University will remain open for business. All faculty, 12 Month Academic, and Educational Support Staff and administrators should report to work as usual.
The above decisions were made with input from campus constituent groups. An ad hoc faculty meeting was held on this subject, as well as meetings with students and administrative staff. The University has made the best decisions possible based on the information available at this time.
Recognizing that this is a fluid and unpredictable situation, the University will continue to monitor the COVI D-19 situation and provide updates on its plans moving forward. We encourage everyone to continue to be diligent in following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to help decrease the spread of the virus.
With all good wishes,
William R. Harvey
Dear Hampton University Students and Parents: Hampton University is committed to keeping the campus community safe, informed and healthy as concern about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) grows. To date, there are no positive persons among the campus community. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Coronavirus spread a pandemic, and the purpose of this correspondence is to update you regarding the University’s plan of action regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Hampton University is closely monitoring the situation and assessing the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), as well as our own policies regarding infectious disease.