HAMPTON, Va. (Sept. 10, 2018) – Hampton University welcomes Secretary Frederick M. Lawrence, civil rights scholar and CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s first and most prestigious honor society, to present the keynote address at the 76th Annual Opening Convocation on Sunday, September 30, 2018. Opening Convocation will be held in the Hampton University Convocation Center and will begin at 10:45 a.m. Following the Opening Convocation ceremony, Hampton University will recognize the generosity of Hampton University alums Dr. and Mrs. Freeman Hrabowski with the naming and dedication ceremony of The Freeman and Jacqueline Hrabowski Student Success Center.
“Opening Convocation is a wonderful tradition at Hampton University. It is at this event that we officially mark the beginning of another exciting academic year,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey. “We look forward to hearing the keynote speaker, and recognizing two Hamptonians that have continually upheld THE Standard of Excellence since their graduation.”
Dr. Harvey will give his charge to the student body as well as to parents, faculty and staff during the event, which is the ceremonial opening of the new school year.
During this ceremony, Dr. Harvey will also present the 2017-18 E. L. Hamm, Sr. Award to Dr. Harvey Stokes, Professor of Music, and Dr. Kelwyn D’Souza, Professor of Management Science. Since the 1960-61 academic year, Hampton University has recognized outstanding faculty members who have distinguished themselves in the endeavor of promoting quality, positivity, hard work and service through The Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. In 1994, the award was renamed the Edward L. Hamm, Sr. Distinguished Teaching Award after it was endowed by former Hampton University trustee Edward L. Hamm Jr., honored his father in its name. Each year one or two faculty members receive the award after being nominated by their peers and/or students and selected by the university president. The recipients consistently attain teaching excellence by going above and beyond the classroom and inspiring their students to have a passion for learning and commitment to excellence.
The keynote speaker, Secretary Frederick M. Lawrence, is a Distinguished Lecturer at the Georgetown Law Center, and has previously served as president of Brandeis University, Dean of the George Washington University Law School, and Visiting Professor and Senior Research Scholar at Yale Law School. He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2018 and the American Law Institute in 1999.
An accomplished scholar, teacher and attorney, Secretary Lawrence is one of the nation’s leading experts on civil rights, free expression and bias crimes. Secretary Lawrence has published widely and lectured internationally. He is the author of Punishing Hate: Bias Crimes Under American Law (Harvard University Press 1999), examining bias-motivated violence and the laws governing how such violence is punished in the United States. He is an opinion contributor to The Hill and US News, frequently contributes op-eds to various other news sources, such as Newsweek, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Observer, The NY Daily News and The Huffington Post, and has appeared on CNN among other networks.
Since graduating from Hampton University, the Hrabowskis have maintained their commitment to upholding THE Standard of Excellence. The Hrabowskis, President and First Lady of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, recently donated $100,000 to their alma mater in tribute to President Dr. William R. and First Lady Norma B. Harvey’s 40 exemplary years of service. Dr. William R. Harvey presented the couple with alumnus-at-large awards at the 2015 Hampton University commencement ceremony.
Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, President of UMBC since 1992, is a consultant on science and math education to national agencies, universities, and school systems. He was named by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. He also chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads (2011). His 2013 TED talk highlights the “Four Pillars of College Success in Science.”
Mrs. Jacqueline C. Hrabowski retired in 2009 as Vice President of Corporate Community Involvement at T. Rowe Price. Mrs. Hrabowski is currently an active community volunteer and advocate of mentoring and child development initiatives. A trustee of the Abell Foundation, she is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and The Links, Inc. She has received numerous awards, including being named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women.
The Opening Convocation Ceremony will be live streamed at media.hamptonu.edu.