HAMPTON, Va. (September 25, 2019) – Hampton University administration, faculty, staff, marching band, cheerleaders and students came together to welcome the newly arrived Bahamian students displaced from the University of the Bahamas- North campus at a Welcome Reception inside the Student Center Ballroom, Tuesday, September 24.
Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey officially welcomed the students to their new home for the next few months. “A very special welcome to our new students for this semester,” Dr. Harvey said.
Dr. Harvey also talked of how this all started and how he had spoken to the University of the Bahamas President, Dr. Rodney Smith after Hurricane Dorian hit that area. “Dr. Smith and his wife were doing fine but he said that his North campus was almost obliterated and obviously that touched my heart. So I told him that Hampton University would provide room and board, tuition and fees for getting the students from that North campus. To me, helping others is truly one of the greatest gifts that an individual can give to another and that’s a part of Hampton’s DNA. I want you new Hamptonians to understand that giving of yourself to others is one of the greatest things that you can bestow on another individual,” Dr. Harvey said.
During the reception, Bahamian students heard from several members of the Hampton University community, including offices which provide resources that will help these students transition from their hometowns. These include the International Office, Health Center, and the Student Counseling Center.
The Hampton University Student Government Association (SGA) President, Mr. Jonathan Mack, welcomed the new students to campus on behalf of the Hampton student body. “We would like to extend a warm welcome to your new ‘Home by the Sea.’ As SGA, our number one priority is to constantly advocate on behalf of the student body to ensure that all voices are being heard, while also working with our wonderful administration to ensure that everyone’s Hampton experience is as excellent as possible. Though the circumstances of you joining us may not be the most ideal, I am certain that your tenure here will be filled with unique opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime,” Mack said.
Ms. Cornelia Waugh, graduating senior from Jamaica, and President of the Caribbean Pre-Alumni Council, told the new students that they are welcome to stop by any time for some company or food from home. The Caribbean PAC can provide, “a home away from home,” said Waugh.
Overall, the students from the University of the Bahamas-North campus are appreciative of all Hampton University has done for them and are looking forward to experiencing all the university has to offer. “I want to experience as much as possible here. I want to meet people, and I want to gain as much knowledge as I can,” said Krishona Minnis, sophomore, business management major from the Bahamas.
The Marching Force performed Hampton’s alma mater after the ceremony closed and each Bahamian student received a Hampton t-shirt and grocery bag filled with toiletries and snacks.
Orientation for the new students will continue throughout the week, including academic advisement, registration and more.