Leenika Belfield-Martin | Lifestyle Editor
Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey and his wife, Norma B. Harvey, made a six-figure donation to the university, going to two scholarship funds: the Norma B. Harvey student stipend fund and the Laron Clark Jr. scholarship fund for first generation students.
“My parents were my first role models,” Dr. Harvey said in a news release. “Establishing the Norma B. Harvey Student Stipend Fund and endowing the Laron Clark, Jr. Scholarship Fund for First Generation College Students is my way of honoring all of the life lessons they shared.”
The Harveys donated $106,685 to endow the two new funds. The couple’s donations to Hampton now total $3.6 million.
“These stipends and the scholarship will assist in making it possible for the next generation of leaders to emerge and make their world better than they found it,” he said.
The first fund, the Norma B. Harvey student stipend fund, will pay an annual stipend to 12 students who intern at service-related, nonprofit organizations.
Bessie Willis, the director of Hampton’s career center, said that she and her department “thank Dr. William R. Harvey for this generous support in providing financial support to students participating in service related nonprofit internships.”
Willis also said that the fund will assist students who intern because they often work for no pay.
“Dr. Harvey’s contribution will give these students some financial assistance while they are on these internships,” Willis said.
Kenya Cummins, a sophomore strategic communications major, said the student stipend fund will help students who excel in areas beyond academics.
“Hampton is a school that prides itself on being the standard of excellence,” Cummins said. “This means not only being academically excellent, but also having excellent character. It’s good to see a scholarship that awards students who exhibit this character through service.”
Cummins also said that “this fund will encourage people to participate in community service and be more involved with nonprofit organizations.”
The second fund is named after Laron Clark Jr., the longtime HU vice president of development who served the university for almost 40 years before dying late last year.
“It is a happy moment, indeed, to remember the man who gave so much of his energy to ensure the success of our ‘Home by the Sea,’” President Harvey said in the release.
Jessica Cook, a sophomore history major, said the Laron Clark Jr. scholarship will help create a cycle of college-bound students.
“I think it’s amazing that Dr. Harvey is doing that,” Cook said. “By helping this generation of college students, the next generation will be helped, too.”
Ashley Hall, a sophomore from Elizabeth City, N.C., said these scholarships were crucial additions.
“These scholarships are needed because first-generation students are at a disadvantage compared to their peers by not having a more disposable income that can go toward education,” Hall said.