Marital bliss: Hampton alumni tying the knot

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Amber Gardner | Staff Writer

At an HBCU these titles such as “wifey”, “bae” and “Mrs. Right” become a part of daily conversations between men and women on love, commitment, and ultimately marriage. A 2014 U.S. Census Bureau study showed that there are 364,000 more married Black men than Black women.

Some may wonder if a successful marriage, especially among Black people, is even possible to achieve.

However, at Hampton the benefits of a monogamous relationship have been shown time and time again. It is such a phenomenon that the Hampton University Alumni Office decided to write and post an article during the spring of last year specifically dedicated to love stories that originated at their Home by the Sea.

The piece entitled Hampton Hunnies: Alumni Love Stories paid tribute to alumni that had found love and commitment while pursuing their education here at Hampton University.

Two couples that have been featured are Pamela and Desmond Powell, who met in Buckman Hall while pursuing their MBAs and started dating shortly after they both graduated in 2012. These two Hamptonians were married in Richmond, Virginia this past September. The Powells said attending Hampton University was one of the decisions of their lives and it led them to their soulmate.

Another successful Pirate courtship that has been highlighted in the Hampton University Alumni Office Blog is the story of Kyle and Chandra Ledford.

These lovebirds met their freshman year at Hampton while singing in the Hampton choirs and got engaged minutes before graduation.

A year later they returned to the Memorial Chapel to get married among their Hampton family. They have now been married for 19 years and have three beautiful children. Kyle often tells the children that Hampton has been a huge part of his and his wife’s lives. “It is our hope that our children will one day get to experience first-hand the joy and pride that comes with attending Hampton as well,” said Chandra.

Chandra comes from a family of Hampton love stories. Her parents, aunt and uncle, brother-in-law and sister-in-law also met at Hampton University.

Love stories like this give people hope.  Michael Eley, a sophomore marketing major from Raleigh, North Carolina feels that “dating at an HBCU can be a great thing because the significant other can have many values and ideas that align with yours.”

Even with these great happily-ever-afters that have taken place on Hampton’s campus, the national statistics on African American marriages are not quite so ideal.

According to a Yale study held a few years ago, 42 percent of African American women have yet to be married, whereas only 23 percent of Caucasian women have not been married. Also, the 2000 U.S. Census released a report stating that there were almost 2 million more black women than Black men.

Sarah Gatewood, a Hampton University alum from Portsmouth, Virginia feels that this disconnect is “because their expectations are too outrageous & they want a man that also has career ‘success’ and…they neglect to look at the really important things.”

The waterfront holds a lot of value and power when it comes to the romantic experience. One popular myth states that if you walk across the Hampton University waterfront holding hands with your true love you will marry that person in the future.

Another belief that is shared among the Hamptonians is that male students tend to start searching for women with “wife material” around junior year.

In the end, it truly comes down to following your heart as well as knowing what you desire and deserve in a spouse. This means not only knowing who you are dating, but also knowing who you truly are on the inside. After that, all one can do is wisely follow your heart and let love flow freely. Indulging in the greatest love of all is something that everyone should experience.


One thought on “Marital bliss: Hampton alumni tying the knot

  1. William Sutphin 2 Feb 2016 / 4:36 pm

    I like the effort but the tone of your article was hard to pinpoint. The intro paragraph seemed to point to heavy topic while the actual article is on a lighter subject.

    Keep it simple. One tone per article.

    Good luck.


    Liked by 1 person

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