HAMPTON, Va. (May 16, 2018) - Hampton University’s 148th commencement ceremony was an exciting day, especially for graduating seniors, Payton Newsome and Pearis Bellamy, who were named Valedictorian and Salutatorian, respectfully, for the graduating class of 2018.
Payton Newsome - Valedictorian
Newsome, originally from Charlotte, NC, majored in Biology and earned the very respected title of Valedictorian through her hard work, dedication, and consistent sacrifices over the past four years, graduating with a cumulative GPA of 4.069. Her interests include all things science, as she considers herself a “scientific junky.”
Throughout her tenure at Hampton University, Newsome tutored fellow students in the student success center and was co-secretary for the Minority Association of Pre-Med Students (MAPPS). She is a proud member of the Gamma Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., and the Beta Kappa Chi National Honor Society.
After shadowing over 20 hours at Riverside Hospital, Newsome plans to utilize her summer to prepare for the MCAT with hopes of attending medical school in 2019, pursuing Pathology.
Newsome credits her difficult moments throughout her collegiate tenure as the reasoning behind her success.
Pearis Bellamy – Salutatorian
Bellamy was a Psychology major, originally from New Jersey, who ranked number one within Hampton University’s School of Liberal Arts, graduating with a cumulative GPA of 4.028. Her social and academic interests throughout her collegiate experience, intertwined through her advocacy for helping and motivating others.
Bellamy is no stranger to academic success, as she made sure to leave a lasting legacy at her Alma Mater. As a Hampton University Presidential Fellow, a White House HBCU All-Star, and the winner of the Presents Cup Award, Bellamy takes pride in her accomplishments and achievements throughout the past four years.
Her extra-curricular activities included being a member of the Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Training Program, President of Peer Advocates, President of the Gamma Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and she was a class officer for four consecutive years.
After graduation, Bellamy plans to attend the University of Florida starting this summer to pursue her Ph. D. in Counseling Psychology. Her ultimate goal is to be a HBCU professor and counselor for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.