HAMPTON, Va. (Sept. 26, 2019) – Hampton University welcomes home alumnus Dr. Desiree Williams to present the keynote address at the 77th Annual Opening Convocation on Sunday, October 6, 2019. Opening Convocation will be held in Ogden Hall and will begin at 10:45 a.m.
“Opening Convocation is a wonderful time honored tradition at Hampton University. It is at this ceremony that we celebrate the beginning of another exciting academic year,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey. “We look forward to hearing the keynote speech from one of our top young alumni in Dr. Williams, and recognize two members of our world-class faculty that continue to impact young minds in the classroom.”
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 2018-19 E. L. Hamm, Sr. Award to Dr. Karen Denise Maxwell, Associate Professor of Management in the James T. George School of
Business and Dr. Otsebele E. Nare, Associate Professor in the Hampton University School of Engineering. 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, Dr. Desiree Williams is the former Director of the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute and former assistant professor of physical therapy at Hampton University. A two-time Hampton University alumna, Williams received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from HU and she also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education and a minor in Leadership Studies. Currently, Williams is a practicing physical therapist in the greater Los Angeles area while also pursuing her dream as an on-camera talent. Williams served as Miss Hampton in 2010-2011, and in the latter year was featured in Ebony magazine as one of 10 Historically Black College or University (HBCU) Campus Queens. Her other pageantry wins include Miss National Sweetheart, Miss Virginia 2013, and Miss Virginia USA 2017. Williams was only the fourth African-American to serve as Miss Virginia in the Miss America Pageant system, and Williams placed in the top ten of the 2016 Miss USA Beauty Pageant. Williams was also a contestant on the long running CBS reality show "Survivor: Heroes v Healers v Hustlers.”
The Opening Convocation Ceremony will be live streamed at media.hamptonu.edu.