Hampton University
Hampton University to Participate in Governor and First Lady Northam's 'Virginia Graduates Together' Program, Honoring Class of 2020
05/29/2020 - #247

RICHMOND, Va. (May 29, 2020) – Hampton University’s Class of 2020 will be recognized in a statewide virtual celebration at 5:00 PM on Friday, May 29, honoring the remarkable achievements of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s graduates. Governor Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam will give a special address during the “Virginia Graduates Together” streaming event, which will be distributed by public television stations throughout Virginia, along with special guests and recognition of accomplishments of graduates. The program will include videos from Dr. William R. Harvey, Hampton University President and HU Student Government Association President, Jonathan Mack, a member of the Class of 2020.

“Virginia Graduates Together” premieres at 5:00 PM on Friday, May 29 on Virginia PBS stations and will stream on Facebook Live and YouTube through WETA and East Tennessee PBS.

“Our graduating class of 2020 deserves a truly great sendoff. The pandemic has delayed traditional celebrations, so while Hampton University still plans to honor our graduates with a ceremony on Sunday, September 27, 2020, we are honored to be a part of Governor and First Lady Northam’s virtual graduation. Congratulations graduates, the world is waiting for you. Serve it and Hampton well,” said Dr. William R. Harvey.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has had major impacts on students across the country and prompted the cancellation of traditional graduation ceremonies. Along with Governor Northam’s special address, there will be music performances, a keynote speech from United States Women’s National Soccer champion Angela Hucles Mangano, and well-wishes from notable Virginians.
“Virginia’s class of 2020 is graduating during an unprecedented and difficult time, and I know this is not the end of the school year that any of us imagined,” said Governor Northam. “Virginia students have demonstrated tremendous resilience throughout this health crisis, and we want to ensure their accomplishments are celebrated in a big way. We look forward to commemorating one of life’s greatest milestones together as a Commonwealth and giving our graduates a strong send-off to their bright futures.”

Hucles Mangano, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is a native of Virginia Beach and a graduate of the University of Virginia. The 4-time All-ACC soccer player and member of two United States women’s World Cup soccer teams is also a businesswoman and is known as an advocate for gender diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Many of the nearly 600 videos and photos submitted to VPM by graduates will be featured in the 30-minute program. Students, families, and teachers can join the celebration on social media by sharing cap and gown photos, well-wishes, videos, and more using the hashtag #GraduateTogetherVA.
“We are excited to honor our next generation of leaders with something revolutionary,” said First Lady Northam. “Never before have we had all Virginia graduates celebrate together in one place and at the same time. This will be special event, and we are honored to get to celebrate with you.”

Prominent Virginians appearing in the program include former Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer, University of Virginia’s men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett, Indianapolis Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox, Denver Nuggets guard Troy Daniels, NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jay Harris, United States Senator Tim Kaine, Los Angeles Rams linebacker Micah Kiser, musician Dave Matthews, comedian Jay Pharoah, Virginia Beach Councilman Aaron Rouse, Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier, Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander, New York Liberty forward Megan Walker, United States Senator Mark Warner, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, actress Constance Wu, and World Series Champion Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

More information about the program can be found at VPM.org/grad.

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