Noa Cadet | Staff Writer
Hampton University history was made Jan. 27. Founder’s Day has always been a day of celebration; it is the anniversary of the university’s founding. However, something set this Founder’s Day apart from past Founder’s Days. This time, Founder’s Day was the occasion for the unveiling of a project that Hampton has been working toward for quite a while now: Legacy Park. As such, this momentous occasion is one that will be marked in Hampton University’s history books, and remembered for years to come,
The ceremony began at 11:30 a.m. in the Chapel. The pews were filled with students, faculty, alumni and guests, all of whom listened as speakers emphasized of the importance of our history, and how far we have come as a school.
Zachary Scott was one such speaker; he told listeners how Hampton University taught him the value of hard work and presenting yourself in a professional light. Thanks to these valuable lessons, he rose in rank from UPS package car driver all the way to one of UPS’ 17 presidents. If he had not gone above and beyond at his job from day one, and had he not cooperated with the members of his teams, he could not have made it nearly as far. Scott credits his success to Hampton University.
In addition to Scott’s speech about applying Hampton’s principles to life, he also referenced his generous donation to Hampton University’s School of Business. Due to Scott’s gift, his $250,000 will help first-generation college students graduate with four-year degrees.
However, the most momentous occasion of this Founder’s Day did not occur in the Chapel—it was what happened after the ceremony. It was then that Hampton officials finally unveiled the highlight of this year’s Founder’s Day: Legacy Park. Located just outside of the Chapel, one can now find a grand array of statues depicting important historical figures whose influence has been felt both at Hampton University and in the black community. These statues include Rosa Parks, President Barack Obama, Hampton President Jerome Holland and President William Harvey. Think of that—a beautiful park containing some of the most important figures in Hampton’s history.
Hamptonians had plenty to say in response to the unveiling that took place at Legacy Park.
Gabriel Lewis, a business management major from Mansfield, Texas, said: “Legacy Park shows that we are forward in our thinking and helping to beautify our campus, and give it a fresh look, while also honoring our past.”
Jordan Grundy, a freshman kinesiology major from North Plainfield, New Jersey, added: “I believe that the unveiling of Legacy Park is a momentous occasion because of the fact that so many people have some type of influence in the university. Whether it was a small contribution, or even making significant changes, Legacy Park is, quite literally, a legacy of the university.”
And a legacy it is, and will remain for all time. Contemporary Hamptonians have been fortunate enough to witness the unveiling of history; perhaps someday, someone else on campus will find a way to positively impact the world and earn a spot in Legacy Park, too.