Averi Collins | Features Editor
The Student Leaders welcomed the newest freshman class with a remix to the tune of D.R.A.M.’s song “Cha Cha”. During New Student Orientation week they chanted, “I rep Quintessence…we are the hottest class that ever went to Hampton.”
At any point during the year a student at Hampton University is likely to hear one of the many quintessence chants. With two Quintessence classes at Hampton this year, QT9 is ready to pass the torch down to QTX, just like the class before them did. But just as every QT9 member knows, it is not only about representing your class.
As if being in the exclusive club of Quintessence isn’t enough, Hampton students also like to highlight the other aspects that make their college tenure great. Tra’Von Williams, a senior strategic communications major, from Columbia, South Carolina stated, “we don’t just rep our class, we rep our region, our dorms, our major, our hometown.”
Although Onyx and Quintessence both have a tenth class, that doesn’t mean they were created at the same time. Quintessence is the newest of the classes on Hampton’s campus. Since 1991, students have kept up the tradition of passing on their senior class name to the incoming freshman.
“Leon Howard came up with the name,” said Stacy Mason Howard, a member of the first Quintessence class. “We looked in the dictionary and saw that Quintessence means perfection. We voted, ended up with McDonald’s colors, red and yellow, and everyone teased us about it” she told the authors of The Individual Life.
After the first class was teased for their colors. Howard did not believe that the name would get past Quintessence 2. “Quintessence six?,” exclaimed Howard. “I can not believe it has lasted this long. Everyone teased us and said Quintessence would not last.”
Over the past 36 years, HU has carried on a tradition that has been a mystery to most who have passed through the University’s doors. Many question, “Why are the class names Ogre Phi Ogre, Quintessence, or Onyx, and how did this begin?” Well, according to The Individual Life, it began in the fall of 1969, when HU freshmen were considered to be the bottom of the food chain and the upperclassmen ruled the campus.
According to Hillary Jones, Ogre Phi Ogre class of 1973 stated, “Freshman men lived in James Hall and everyone knew everyone, and one night a group of freshman males were hanging out in and came up with the name Ogre Phi Ogre. There was no grand plan, we were just very close knit and we were cool.”
To this day every student who graduates from Hampton University’s campus has a special appreciation for the creators of the class names. It is because of these class name that each class has a connection with each other that most schools do not. It also makes it comical when people from other schools do not understand what the class names mean or stand for.
It is the year of Quintessence also known as “The Hottest Class Under the Sun” and as the seniors get ready to graduate in May to tackle the world, they want to make sure that QTX has a foundation to make it to the end. Also the hope is that QTX will pass down the knowledge given to them to the next class, whoever they might be.
In the words of the current SGA president, Justin Shaifer, “I want to leave QTX with the idea to attack discomfort, to never let their lack of sureness in whether they can achieve something prevent them from doing it. This is the trial and error period in your life so take advantage. This is it.”