Class of 2021: Our Story

Shirmarie Starks | Staff Writer

It is crazy to think that the beloved Ogre Phi Ogre 17 class will be graduating on May 9, 2021. For Ahmaad Edmund, a senior political science major, leadership studies minor from Louisville, KY,  one word to describe his experience at Hampton is, “INCOMPARABLE!” As our time at our beloved institution comes to an end, we reflect on our time we spent as Hampton University students, and the lessons we learned while here. From nine graduating seniors, here are their stories:

Freshman Year

For most of them, their journey started on August 25, 2017 when they were inducted in Ogden Hall and were officially Hamptonians. They arrived bright-eyed and ready to have the glorious Hampton experience! Coming in, some advice that Brooke Beebe, a senior kinesiology pre-med major from Detroit, MI, wishes she would have received is that “Preparation is key, and to not procrastinate on assignments or studying. And to also, step out of your comfort zone by getting involved on campus!”

From the first Holland (shoutout to the lucky ones who made it inside), to the first (and last for a while) 12-2, to the first homecoming, and finally getting off of curfew after homecoming, the first semester at Hampton was great! Second semester arrived, and as they continued their studies, they also had more fun. 

They celebrated freshman week and administration allowed for the return of 12-2’s! Ogre 17 was the first class to participate in the fashion show, no one knew what to expect. Representing the south (a.k.a. SOUFSIDE), Gabe Sanders, a senior sports management major from Atlanta, GA, says, “The fashion show wasn’t anything how I expected it to be, but I ended up having a great time and meeting some great people throughout the event. I’m glad I had a chance to step outside my comfort zone and make some great memories.” 

Sophomore Year

After a summer break filled with travel, internships and plenty of rest, sophomore year came, and they were back and better! They knew how to navigate campus and a large portion of the class moved off campus. They especially loved that they had NO curfew. But, not even three weeks on campus, all had to evacuate for what was best described as the “Hurrication.” 

After coming back, they attended more classes and prepared for what would soon be known as HUCHELLA. 

“My favorite memory from sophomore year would definitely have to be homecoming,” said senior biology pre-med from Charles County, MD, Tyler Alves. “From the carnival to the block party, to the Lil Baby concert, to the off-campus parties, to the homecoming game and tailgate, all of it was so much fun! HUCHELLA was definitely a time to remember.”

Second semester came around, and many of our classmates joined Greek-lettered organizations. They all celebrated Springfest, and had a great time at  SOJU ball wearing their all-white outfits! One main thing that Joshua Cook, a senior arts major from Chicago, IL, wishes he would have done differently during sophomore year was starting to sell his artwork earlier. Check him out on Instagram @joshovango.  Despite this, it was yet another great year for the Ogre class!

Junior Year

Junior year started with more off-campus apartments, Labor Day beach festivities, the Chris Brown Indigo tour, and the Chicago HUxHU Classic. Ogres celebrated their third homecoming with the PepsiCo x ESSENCE Tailgate Takeover where celebrities like DJ Envy (Hampton alumnus ’99) and Kash Doll came to party. Seleata McDonald, a senior psychology pre-med major from Madison, WI, says that her favorite event from junior year was the 100 Days celebration. 

“I love the camaraderie of Hampton holidays! Everyone, no matter their classification or social status, is just out having a great time together,” says McDonald.

Just a few weeks later from 100 Days on March 12, 2020, students received the news that they would be transitioning to remote learning, and need to immediately leave campus due to COVID-19.


After receiving the news that we would remain online for the 2020-2021 academic school year, students were devastated. The entire Hampton University experience was cut short, and they would miss out on all of the senior class traditions. Despite this, the class of 2021 continued to excel and have fun virtually.  Now that they have (almost) completed our time at Hampton, they reflected on the valuable lessons that they have learned.

“Because our students are so successful, it can sometimes make you feel as though you are behind, but in reality, you are not; it is God’s timing!” said Angel Hobbs, a 4th year in the 5 year MBA program from Chesterfield, VA. “Do not compare yourself because what is for you, is for you. Your time is coming.”

“Closed mouths do not get fed,” is a saying that Rose Nguyen, a senior electrical engineering major from Buffalo, NY,  always knew growing up, but she actually applied it while being a student at Hampton. Understanding that she was responsible for herself and her future, Rose learned that she needed to speak up more when opportunities presented themselves.

Even Cliff Dwyer, a fall 2019 Hampton transfer and senior business management major from Jamaica, learned a lesson during his short time here. 

“It’s very important to be persistent in going after what you want,” said Dwyer. Though challenges and roadblocks arose, Dwyer was able to push through and reach the goals he set for himself. “Have hope, and when something is discouraging, or seems impossible, remember that you will breakthrough eventually if you stay persistent.”

The Ogre Phi Ogre 17 class of 2021 has stories that are filled with wins, failures, laughter, sadness, applause, regrets and plenty of lifelong lessons. 

As our time comes to an end, we will remember the time we spent at Hampton University, and we will truly  “let our lives do the singing!” 

Congratulations Class of 2021, you did it!


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