HAMPTON, Va. (June 5, 2019) – Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey welcomed the thousands in attendance at the 105th Annual Hampton University Ministers’ Conference and 85th Annual Choir Directors’ and Organists’ Guild Workshop at the Hampton University Convocation Center on Monday, June 3, 2019.
Prior to Dr. Harvey’s opening address, the large crowd was blessed with sounds of praise and worship from several musicians, followed by a brief welcome from Donnie Tuck, Mayor of the City of Hampton.
President Dr. Harvey began his welcome by giving honor to the Lord above and thanking Him, his doctors, wife and family for the care and support he received following his total knee replacement surgery. Dr. Harvey then recognized all members of the current and past leadership of the ministers’ conference, as well as politicians that were in attendance, and those who support the University. Dr. Harvey stressed the importance of supporting the politicians that best support your individual interests despite their particular political parts and not just supporting one particular political party.
As he continued on, Dr. Harvey proudly acknowledged some of Hampton University’s recent successes both in the classroom and in the field of athletics during the last academic year. Those achievements include Hampton University having its accreditation reaffirmed until 2028, Hampton University also received the “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity” classification, the highest given by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education; the opening of Legacy Park; the Hampton University Marching Force invitation to perform in Rome on New Years Day and in the 2020 Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade; and the Men’s and Women’s Track programs sweeping the Indoor and Outdoor Big South Track Championships.
Always forward-thinking, Dr. Harvey then talked about a new service that Hampton University is evaluating for veterans in Hampton Roads. “Based on my concern, as a veteran, for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the high veteran population in the Hampton Roads Region, I established a Task Force on equine therapy for PTSD,” said Dr. Harvey. “The charge for the group was to decrease the suffering, symptoms and prevalence of PTSD among active duty and veteran populations in Hampton Roads through the use of Equine-assisted Therapy. This type of therapy appears to be a powerful and effective tool for service-related individuals who struggle with symptoms of PTSD.”
Dr. Harvey also discussed the live saving treatment and research currently transpiring at the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute. Dr. Harvey humbly recognized the advanced technologies and incredible, passionate staff who continuously work together to bring over 65 patients a day focusing on cancer care. “This institution is easing human misery and saving lives,” said Dr. Harvey. “Treating all cancers such as breast, brain, prostate, lung, pediatric, eye and more.” Dr. Harvey voiced to the women in the audience to encourage their husbands to get checked for prostate cancer, considering that this type of cancer is 100 percent curable.
Turning his focus to the current state of our country, Dr. Harvey expressed just how important this conference and the conversations that will occur are to the future of our community as a whole. “The many social, political and economic issues that face our world today make this year's theme, ‘A Call to the Church from a Community in Crisis,’ particularly appropriate for such a time like this,” said Dr. Harvey. “The black community is in crisis. We are facing a plethora of issues such as dwindling family values, black on black crime, an increase of police shootings of unarmed victims, high amount of debt, increase in health disparities and low interest among members of society as it relates to what all this means to our community as a whole. Many are looking and trying to find answers, and I tell them to look to the Lord.”
As Dr. Harvey concluded his welcome address, he wished the attendees would take the information they receive this week home and make positive changes in their respective communities. “Finally, I hope all of you will take advantage of all the offerings at this year’s conference,” said Dr. Harvey. “The wisdom and knowledge you receive will prepare you to respond to ‘A Call to the Church.’ It is my hope that by the time you leave these grounds, you be will be prepared to assist every ‘Community in Crisis.’”
About the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference:
The enduring vision of the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference is to be a model of non-sectarian interdenominational cooperation in the African American church and in the world. The conference’s mission is to build and promote the kingdom of God on earth and serve as an opportunity for leaders to come together for an intense time of fellowship, spiritual renewal and discussion of those problems all ministers share together. This conference will continue until June 7th.