HAMPTON, Va. (Nov. 27, 2017) – A crisp, clear late Autumn evening was filled with the sound of Christmas music from Hampton University’s mixed wind ensemble, the smell of spiced cider and the sight of Hampton University’s Christmas tree lit up and decorated for the season.
A brief ceremony served to remind the 200 students, faculty and staff of the meaning of the season.
“Thinking back to our founder, General Samuel Chapman Armstrong, his parents were missionaries,” said Hampton University President William R. Harvey. “They instilled in him the spirit of giving as opposed to the spirit of taking. We have so much to be thankful for, going into this season of giving.”
Dr. Harvey also spoke words of unity and peace.
“Focus on the things that unite us as opposed to the things that divide us,” he said. “If we do that, not only will Hampton University be better, but this great state, this nation and the world will be better.”
Dr. Harvey handed the event over to his wife, Hampton University’s First Lady, Norma B. Harvey, to light the tree.
"We wish you the brightest, merriest Christmas and a Happy New Year,” she said. “Let us give thanks for the blessings we are receiving and let us remember to always keep Christ in Christmas.
“As we celebrate the 150th year of this great university and our 40th year here at the university, let us celebrate by lighting this magnificent tree.”
With that, Mrs. Harvey threw a switch, lighting up the festive tree, decorated in the school colors of blue and gray. The wind ensemble serenaded the gathering with Christmas carols as everyone enjoyed Christmas cookies, hot chocolate and spiced cider.
Dr. Harvey was excited by the evening.
“Any time you can serve a great institution like Hampton University, you can’t help but feel anything but exhilarated, wonderful and happy!” he said.
The tree, decorated with dozens of balls and lights surrounding dozens of special 150/40 anniversary commemorative ornaments, can be seen near the entrance to Hampton University at the corner of East Tyler Street and Emancipation Drive.