by Davida Plummer
With Dr. and Mrs. William R. Harvey's latest $100,000 gift to the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute, HU's University President has given more than $3 million to the institution of higher learning that has grown exponentially under his leadership. That personal donation dollar amount is $3,066,327. The gift speaks to the couple's heartfelt commitment to the "Standard of Excellence" that is Hampton University. Dr. William R. Harvey and Mrs. Norma B. Harvey are more than President and First Lady of the Hampton University community. They have dedicated their lives to the success of the university.
All university presidents are called upon to enhance the quality of the university's student population, academic programs, faculty, physical facilities and financial base. That's the job. What Dr. Harvey has done extends beyond any official expectation. His giving is best described as 'not just talking the talk, but walking the walk.' He has done all that is in his power to support the historic institution, from the Emancipation Oak to the shoreline that hugs the campus on three sides.
As a visionary, Dr. Harvey, has embraced HU founder General Samuel Chapman Armstrong's mission to have everything at Hampton University excel. And excel it has under Dr. Harvey's leadership. The Harvey years, 38 and counting, will grace the record books as an unparalleled accounting of mega success, not just for the HU students, faculty and staff whose lives give testimony to the results of his labor; but for the global community of stakeholders who will continually reap the benefits of his astute leadership for generations to come.
Dr. Harvey has introduced innovations, which have solidified Hampton University's stellar position among the nation's colleges and universities. Seventy-six new academic programs, satellites on active missions in space, the largest free-standing proton therapy cancer treatment center in the world, all of what Dr. Harvey has accomplished speaks to his desire to leave the world better than he found it.
The Brewton, Alabama native is a servant leader who faces each day determined to enrich the lives of others. His blessed path led him from a small town in Alabama to the coveted classrooms of Harvard University. With his Ivy League degree in hand, Dr. Harvey could have taken any one of so many prestigious university offers. However, Dr. Harvey, the true educator, chose to lead at an HBCU where he could make a real difference in the academic worlds of young people who yearned for better lives. Dr. Harvey, the businessman, put his acumen to work placing Hampton on the fast track for growth and development as a world-class university.
Dr. Harvey has reached into his own pocket several times to help members of the university community. He has covered salary increases during the lean financial periods. For example in 2011, Dr. and Mrs. Harvey gave a gift of $1 million to be utilized as incentives to increase faculty salaries. In 2011 and again in 2014, the Harveys gave donations of $166,000 and $108,403 respectively, to support wage increases for full-time permanent HU staff. The Harveys also made a generous donation to scholarships in 2001. That year they gave a gift of $1 million to fund scholarships for students interested in becoming K-12 teachers.
"My parents were my first role models," Harvey said. "Establishing the W.D.C. Harvey Endowed Scholarships in my father's name is my way of honoring all of the life lessons they shared. They taught my sister Anne and me the benefit of giving and sharing to improve the world we live in. The scholarships will assist in making it possible for the next generation of leaders to emerge.
This latest gift of $100,000 will provide an endowment of at least $3,000,000 in scholarships for students to attend the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute (WRHLI). The students will become "Harvey Scholars" after a rigorous selection process. Upon completion of the program, the fellows receive an 18-hour-minor in leadership studies.
The WRHLI was the brainchild of Dr. Harvey who convened several of his closest academic advisors with the clear purpose of creating an institute with a curriculum focused on character development, critical thinking, leadership theory and application, ethics and policy development.
Dr. and Mrs. Harvey's most recent personal contribution of $100,000 will support scholarships for 25 "Harvey Scholars" each year over a period of four years for a total of 100 scholarships. The Institute provides an impressive curriculum designed to teach Dr. Harvey's ten-point leadership model--vision, work ethic, academic excellence, team building, innovation, courage, management, fairness, fiscal conservatism, and results.
The proof of performance for the William R. Harvey Leadership Model is in the career stories of executives who have studied the model under Dr. Harvey's mentorship and as a result reached the height of their careers. An unprecedented 17 executives attribute their positions as President or C-E-O of a university or institution, to Dr. Harvey and the effectiveness of his leadership model.
The newly financed William R. Harvey Leadership Scholarships will be awarded in Fall 2016.