Hampton University Celebrates Historic Military Roots
11/11/2017 - #94
HAMPTON, Va. (Nov. 11, 2017) — Hampton University continued the 150/40 dual anniversaries celebration Saturday with a panel discussion recognizing the university’s contributions to the United States Armed Forces over the last 150 years.
The panel, moderated by Hampton University Senior Vice President and retired Army Captain Paul C. Harris, included Hampton alumni retired Army Col. Lillian Anita Dixon; retired Navy Capt. William D. Booth; and retired Lt. Col. Claude Vann III as well as guests Army Sgt. Harry Quinton (documented original Tuskegee Airman) and retired Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Richard Easter. The audience included members of the current Army and Navy ROTC classes at Hampton University.
Topics discussed by the panel included their individual paths to joining the military, overcoming challenges in the military both work and racial, advice for women entering the military and advice for the future leaders of the military.
"This is a special day in the nation," said Harris, who shared a learned during his time in Hampton University’s ROTC program. He learned, as a 1st Lieutenant to "never ask your soldiers or subordinates to do anything you're not prepared to do. You need a good sense of what you're asking them to do."
East advised the ROTC students to never get comfortable and to keep seeking new challenges.
"Take the far flung assignments. Take the challenging ones," East said. "A lot of time when you volunteer, you're putting yourself in harm's way, but that's what we do.”
The program also recognized Hampton University's founder, Brig. Gen. Samuel Chapman Armstrong, and Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey’s service in the military.
“I’m proud to have served and to share the feeling of pride and importance that comes with wearing the uniform of our country’s armed forces,” Dr. Harvey said.
The panel also served as an opportunity to celebrate retired Army Col. Patrick H. Whitfield, a member of Hampton University’s first Army ROTC commissioning class in 1948. Whitfield was in attendance, joined by family and friends and received a standing ovation for his service and for being a true trailblazer for the ROTC program at Hampton University.