UnSCRIPTed Beauty of the Week: Jalan Richardson

(Jalan Richardson)
(Jalan Richardson)

Kadidja Dosso | Staff Writer

There is much beauty that lies within the campus of Hampton University. Jalan Richardson, a senior forensic chemistry major from New Orleans, one of the many beauties that Hampton has to offer.

New Orleans has helped shape Richardson’s life story in various ways, ranging from her bond with her family to her experience with Hurricane Katrina. Her passion is to give back to her community and set the foundation for a better future.

Jalan is the only child born to her mother and father. “My parents dated forever! They have been together for twenty-eight years and finally got married when I was fifteen years old. My Dad was always in my life but Katrina truly brought our family together.”

Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005, when Richardson was 12-years-old and forced her and her mother to evacuate to Dallas to live with her aunt for nearly a month. Her father is a paramedic and could not leave New Orleans with the rest of the family. After staying with her aunt, her mother was given a house and Richardson’s grandparents moved in with them. In October of that year, her mother had to return to New Orleans and go back to work.

In January 2006, Richardson’s school reopened and forced her to live on a cruise ship for three months. It was not a fun experience for her, as there was no sort of entertainment available and the only things that were open were the cabins, which caused her much anxiety and claustrophobia.

After three months of living on the cruise ship, Richardson and her family moved into a trailer for a year and, finally, to a house. All the things that Richardson endured for two years before transitioning into a secure home caused her to appreciate all of her belongings and family even more. “I didn’t want to go to college. My mom made me apply. I wanted to travel and backpack around the world but, I didn’t have the money. I just didn’t think that school was for me.”

Needless to say, Richardson adjusted very well when she arrived at Hampton University and has left a great legacy for herself on this campus. She has been involved in the Executive Council since her freshman year. These leadership roles allowed her to “get out of her shell” and to hold a leadership position that would directly affect her class.

In addition, Richardson was heavily involved in the Greer Dawson Student Leadership Program for three years and is an active member of the Gamma Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Last year, she made her first and last stage appearance in the Black History Xtravaganza. She put on a phenomenal performance and learned from this experience. Richardson felt that she had been hiding her wings and has limited herself from using some of her gifts instead of revealing them all for the world to enjoy, embrace and be inspired by.

Richardson encourages people to step out of their comfort zones and share their gifts with the world. Her time at Hampton University has allowed Richardson to broaden her horizons and plans to continue inspiring others.

From Hampton Man to Military Man

(Hampton Pirates)
(Hampton Pirates)

Wesley Eggleston | Staff Writer

In honor of Veteran’s Day, it is important that we do not lose sight of the many people fighting both overseas and at home.

Senior Hampton Pirates’ linebacker Edward L. Blair IV, a native of Ridgewood, New Jersey is planning to join the military following his graduation, which would make him one of the people acknowledged on this national holiday.

People who make the decision to put their country’s well being over their own are people who deserve respect. There is normally a reason or inspiration behind the decision as well. For Blair, who is a criminal justice major, his inspiration is his family.

His grandfather is a Marine veteran. Blair’s brother is currently in the Navy and is serving in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Blair hopes to continue the legacy that his family already forged and to provide for those who have helped him.

“My biggest influence would have to be my mother and my grandmother. The women in my life have been a tremendous supporting staff,” he shared. “I just want to be able to do my part, give back and support my family. I feel as though the military post-college will help me get that accomplished.”

While talking about how his work ethic would be tested, Blair said, “Yes you will be tired, you are going to have to get up early when you’re fatigued.  I feel like with the military, it’s similar to football because it’s highly mental, but there is a physical component.  There is no offseason.”

People often assume that those who join the Armed Forces get involved with combat on the front -lines.

When asked what aspect of the military he wants to be associated with Blair said, “The specific branch that I’m aiming for and my specialty would be engineering…I feel like through the military, I could pick up a trade.  People go to college to get an education for academics. I feel like if I go [into the military] then I can be well-rounded.”

Blair has also learned several life lessons from being an athlete. “I’ve been playing football since I was in third grade. The brotherhood that you get from being in the locker room or the games, you’re not going to get that anywhere else,” Blair said when reflecting on what he will miss when he hangs up the cleats.

“But in the same breath, God has already been good to me in the sport of football. I would not be here if it wasn’t for the sport of football.”

As with all athletes, football players know that everyone can not go to the next level once they leave college.

With that in mind, people like Blair, who may miss being on the field, understand that life has other plans for them.

Regardless of what happens, Blair knows that his family will support him as he moves on to the next chapter of his life.

While Veteran’s Day already held great significance for Blair, he will soon view this day with pride and honor as those before him do annually.

Not easily broken: Hampton friends go 40 years

(Courtsey of Walter Mebane)
(Courtsey of Walter Mebane)

Averi Collins | Features Editor

Walter Mebane of Norfolk, Virginia and Kenneth Campbell of Durham, North Carolina have been good friends for almost 40 years. They were students at Hampton University and were residents of James Hall. 

The men chose Hampton because it was familiar to them; they either had a friend or relative at the school and found it to be a good fit for them too. “I had an older brother that was already attending Hampton at the time I was looking at colleges,” Campbell stated, “I went with my parents to Parents Weekend and the rest is history. That’s when I became enamored with Hampton. It made me want to [go] there and be a part of it. I was able to see student life when I [visited] Hampton and it was very attractive to me.”

Mebane had a high school friend at Hampton that showed him around the campus. That is when he fell in love with the scenery and the positive energy the students possessed.

Originally, Campbell and Mebane only saw each other in passing. At that time the majority of the freshman boys stayed in James Hall.

“The school was smaller then, a higher percentage of students living on campus, and there wasn’t a lot to do. So, you were more likely to see people while on campus,” Mebane said.

The young men formally met at McDonald’s on Mercury Boulevard after a concert and realized they had a math class together.

Campbell said that their friendship was developed first through close proximity and after so many meetings, their commonalities sealed the deal.

“One of these centered around the fact that we were from the South. Another one of these centered around the fact that we were both interested in pledging a fraternity,” said Mebane. “We didn’t know we were interested in the same fraternity until we both attended a smoker. A smoker is a fraternity interest meeting. We also talked about living in a bigger city than where we grew up.”

Their differences also brought them together, according to Campbell. “Walter was the first guy I met that had a mind like an engineer. The way he processes information, I don’t process information like him. When I realized that is how he thinks I was like ‘Wow I’ve never met anyone like that.’ To this day this makes me want to run things by him. He thinks in feet and inches and time and distance. I never met a guy that thinks that way.”

To this day Mebane and Campbell still bounce ideas off of each another and use the other to get different perspectives of a topic almost every day.

Hampton changed these men in ways they were not aware of until they graduated. Campbell pointed out the importance of being around like-minded people. He realized upon leaving just how much other people will notice the change in you. It is more than just a regular matriculation at a regular college; it is becoming a Hamptonian.

Mebane recounted his own personal growth. “I knew I wanted to work in the science field. Hampton helped prepare me and it gave me the confidence to continue through the undergrad and graduate school. Another thing that amazed me was that there was always a percentage of around 25 percent of Hampton students that went back to school for grad school and so there was always peer pressure to go back to school.”

Hampton not only changed the men and helped push them into pursuing higher education, but it also helped shape them into the successful men they are today.

Hampton helped these men grow and opened the door for them to experience the world around them.

The fact that Hampton is not in a major city made it easier for these students to focus on academics and everything was centered around student life. They were not used to being the majority and seeing people push themselves to have the highest GPA’s in class.

“Hampton has a mantra that we were first told when we sat down at Ogden Hall freshmen year. Hampton is an education for life. Where I am from you don’t see a lot of African Americans in academia but then I came to Hampton and there are people rocking a 3.8 GPA. To see so many smart African Americans is something you don’t find everywhere,” stated Campbell on Hampton’s “Standard of Excellence.”

Since Campbell and Mebane graduated in 1981 with the lost class of Eminence, Hampton has changed a lot. Then, the school was small in number of students and the student body stayed on campus. Now, there are barely enough dorms for students to stay in and a lot of people move off campus their sophomore year. “For one it has become a larger school. Unlike many of the other private HBCU’s, it has been able to prosper financially and expand.

What I think has remained the same are the core principles. This has always been one of its advantages. It is a very conservative school. It has southern traditions and values.”

To this day Mebane and Campbell see each other often. They take their families on vacation together, spend holidays together talking about politics and reminisce on their past when they met at Hampton University their freshman year.

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.

 

Retro style: The rebirth of 90’s fashion

Lindsey Bianca | Staff Writer

Claim this month as “90’s November.” I encourage all Hamptonians to get out there and strut your 90’s gear. Some ideas are Denise Huxtable from The Cosby Show or Steve Urkel from Family Matters.

Two freshmen stood out with their 90’s outfits. Amari Whitaker also known as “Mars” is a forensics chemistry major from Rocky Mount, North Carolina. She lives up to her nickname with a funky, retro, 90’s shirt bought from a local thrift store. As a college student, it is best to shop smarter, not harder. The best outfits and shoes can be found right at a local thrift store.

Tyra Banks is Whitaker’s inspiration when it comes to fashion because she dares to be different. Whitaker’s yellow and grey, futuristic, spacey “jelly boots” show how unique her style is. These “jelly boots” are see through so Whitaker decided to make even more of a fashion statement by wearing some vibrant socks that accentuate her whole outfit. One of Whitaker’s mottos is “Be bold from every perspective.”

(Amari Whitaker)
(Amari Whitaker)

Another fashion-forward Hamptonian is Eric Dockery, a five-year MBA major from Los Angeles. He grasps the ladies’ attention with a sleek look.

Dockery does not have a specific person who inspired his fashion. Instead, he takes pieces from everyone in the industry and transforms it into his own unique style.

(Eric Dockery)
(Eric Dockery)

Dockery is definitely dominating with his navy blue, grey & white nostalgic Nike jacket, denim jeans and all white huaraches.

Whitaker and Dockery  had different approaches to the “90’s theme” November. Stay tuned for next week’s Fashion Spotlight and keep looking fly while rocking the 90’s November style.

DC anchor still loves her HIU

(Allison Seymour)
(Allison Seymour)

Dazha Austin | Staff Writer

Hampton University has very notable alumni. From Booker T. Washington to Wanda Sykes, many influential people have attended Hampton. Among those notable graduates is Allison Seymour, a 1988 graduate and member of Ogre Phi Ogre 6. She is a well known news anchor on FOX5 D.C.

During her time at Hampton, Seymour studied mass media. Ever since she was little, she knew that she wanted to be a television news reporter.

When she decided to go to Hampton there was only one area that she was interested in, mass media. “I started in television working behind the scenes at ABC News after graduating from Hampton University.

Coincidentally, one of my proudest moments thus far is being inducted into the Scripps Howard School of Journalism Hall of Fame from my alma mater,” stated Seymour.

She recalls her experience as amazing and says that Hampton has shaped the person she is today.

“I owe so much to Hampton.  No doubt about it – I am the person I am today due in large part to my wonderful four years at our ‘Home by the Sea’,” said Seymour.

“My home is Washington, D.C., but there were some formative years that my family moved around. By the time I got to HU, I had actually been to many schools in several states and even lived overseas.  For me, Hampton was a time of stability.  The friends I met at school are the good friends I still have today – 27 years after I graduated,” stated Mrs. Seymour.

Her career as a journalist has been a long one. Less than two years after graduating from Hampton, she entered the Masters of Mass Communication Program at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

She landed her first job in front of the camera in New York as she covered the “Blizzard of 1993.” She then moved on to Trucker TV as a Production Assistant and a writer to get her first on-air position.

Shortly after, she became the first woman to serve as a main anchor at WBNG-TV in Albany, New York. In the summer of 1999, Seymour finally got the call she was waiting on for WTTG or Washington D.C.’s news station.

She was hired as a general assignment reporter for the evening news and has served in various other positions.  She has been fortunate enough to become one of the main anchors. Through her hard work and perseverance, she became a beloved news anchor in the Washington metropolitan area.

Seymour thanks her fans and greatly appreciates them. She also appreciates her fellow young journalists and would like to tell them, “Don’t quit!  It sounds corny but I did it, you can do it.  Be flexible in accepting job opportunities wherever the gig may take you and shine like your professors told you to. You are a Pirate! Don’t worry about your salary to start and learn every aspect of the business. Know your stories and go for the angle that the other reporters didn’t think of.  Shine, shine, and shine some more.”

Allison Seymour and her husband, media personality Marc Clarke, have three daughters, Sydney, Skylar and Spencer. She can be seen on weekdays on FOX5 News Morning.

 

From Hampton student to CEO

(Khiree Smith)
(Khiree Smith)

Nysah Warren | Staff Writer

In 2013, seniors at Hampton University looked forward to their last, first Holland, One Hundred Days and graduation. But Khiree Smith, a member of the Quintessence 8 class, hit an all-time low. Smith faced homelessness and many other obstacles while attending college.

“Putting myself through school at HU taught me that sometimes rock-bottom gives you the best view of where to go next,” said Smith.

Smith was born in the small city of Hartford, Connecticut, a city he describes as being violent and impoverished.

“It taught me, bred me, beat me and showed me things I wouldn’t have seen elsewhere,” Smith said

Although his time at Hampton was faced with many trials, Smith remembers his best moments at Hampton, the most notable being Ogden Crossing and the Alpha Cabaret.

“Two different times, two different versions of me but neither memory outranks the other,” said Smith.

Now studying law at Georgetown University, Smith said his experiences in life have led him to be where he is today.  In an effort to give back, the law student founded The Brilliant Group LLC., which is an organization devoted to breaking down the traditional standard of intelligence.

“Using ‘smart’ as the rubric for achievement and success oppresses the underprivileged by defining their worth in terms dictated by the majority,”  Smith revealed. “Our system empowers participants with social independence by emphasizing unique creations and excellence.”

Smith is thriving in his post-undergraduate endeavors.  He recently received a National Trial Advocacy Competition’s Award for best closing argument. The competition was held in early October, and he describes winning in the competition as “affirming.”

“Most days I feel very confident, but it was my first trial advocacy completion so it felt good to do well,” said Smith. He also offers a piece of advice to the African-American student looking to pursue a law degree.

“Only do it if you know why,” said Smith.

Smith’s life is packed full of activities, but he still finds time for himself.

“I love music, poetry, business, walking [through] Ikea and doing my best to figure out happiness,” said Smith.

Smith had a life that challenged him, but it has led him to want to leave a unique mark on the world.

“I want the world to remember me for inspiring love and teaching people that happiness is a choice and success is subjective.”

The golden year for Dean Jewel B. Long

(Tyana Tailey)
(Tyana Talley)

Arriana McLymore | Editor-in-Chief

Fifty years ago, Jewel B. Long stepped onto Hampton University’s campus hoping to become the Hampton woman that she is today. Long loaded her belongings into Stone Manor for her freshman year, not knowing that she would later become a memorable part of Hampton University’s legacy.

“My mother told me that I could go for my first semester, but she was not sure how the future semesters would go because we did not have any money,” said Long.

Long did not let the financial burden stop her from receiving an education from her Home by the Sea. During her first semester, Long used work study to offset the $2,000 needed for tuition.

Long was assigned as a student clerk-typist in the Office of Student Affairs, now known as the Office of Student Activities.

In her junior year, Long became a resident assistant for Stone Manor. “Another resident assistant and I shared a room in 316,” Long recalled. Junior year brought out many opportunities for Long to make her mark on Hampton University’s campus.

Long continued her time at Hampton as a business education major. “I originally wanted to teach school. That was my game plan,” said Long. She worked as a student-teacher at Pembroke High School, now the Hampton YMCA, during her senior year. Pembroke High School’s principal was being promoted to the school system’s superintendent and offered Long a teaching job. “I played with the idea for a little while,” said Long. “I had a second interview with McGraw-Hill in New York and I turned [the job] down.”

As Long’s senior year began to close, she continued looking for job opportunities. “At the end of the year, the university’s president Dr. Jerome Holland had the resident assistants over for dinner,” recalled Long. “Mrs. Holland said to me as I left, ‘I think you’d make an ideal Dean of Women’.”

Later, Long received a call from Dr. Holland suggesting she stay at Hampton to become a graduate student. “This was a way for me to earn a degree for free, so I decided to stay. I became the first graduate assistant in what was then called the Area of Student Personnel Services.”

During Long’s last year as a graduate student, she served as a Graduate Assistant for the Director of Student Activities and the Dean of Students. Long later went on to become a Residence Hall Director and the Assistant to the Dean of Women. In 1988, she earned the title of Dean of Women. Long worked as the Dean of Women until July 2015 when her title changed to Dean of Residence Life.

“When people in the department start telling me about their difficulties with their positions, it’s easy for me to tell them ‘Yeah, I’ve done that. It may be a challenge, but you can master it,’” said Long after listing all of her previous titles at Hampton University.

Now in her fiftieth year at Hampton University, Long is claiming the 2015-2016 academic year as her year of jubilee. “The opportunity to see folks come as freshmen, grow and mature, and become productive citizens has been a big pleasure,” noted Long. “It is something that has intrinsic value and that money cannot buy.”

During homecoming, Long planned a party to celebrate her tenure at Hampton. “I decided that 50 was the optimum number,” said Long. “I wanted the opportunity to verbalize my thanks to God and my thanks to the people who have worked with me to make it possible for me to reach this milestone.”

Friends, family, and former employees filled Long’s event with excitement. “In many instances, the people I know are of an age where they could have been younger siblings, but I call them my children. Having them at my celebration gave me a chance to boast about my children.”

Long’s party gave way to new opportunities for current Hamptonians. “I asked people to not bring me gifts. I asked instead that they make a contribution to a scholarship that I wanted to establish for Resident Assistants.,” noted Long. “They honored my request. Now, we are well on our way to doing something exciting for Resident Assistants who only get a small stipend.”

Community service and giving back has always been a large part of Dean Long’s life. She plans to continue serving the Hampton Roads area by volunteering her time with a cancer support group.

“I hope that when I do decide to retire that I’ll still have an opportunity to do my service,” said Long. “I hope to either be a hospital ombudsman or a patient advocate so that I can help be a voice for them.” Long calls her commitment to serving others a gift.

Dean Long continues to build nurturing relationships with Hampton alumni and current students of the university. “I have the pleasure of telling students that I know their parents. Often times they don’t believe me,” joked Long. “I’ll have students come back from Thanksgiving break telling me that they asked their parents about me and the parents will know exactly who I am.” Long says she loves to watch the students’ growth in themselves and in their families as adults.

She calls her time at Hampton “a rewarding experience,” but it is not over yet. Long believes that there is still work to be done at the university. As she watches more students matriculate through the school and mature into Hampton men and women, Long notes that people are like her favorite creature, the butterfly.

“We are all in a state of becoming the best people we can possibly be,” said Long. “The only one’s who are not in that state are the people who think they’re already the best.” Long plans to learn as much as she can from her newest title, while teaching others to reach their full potential along the way.

Hampton University student inspired to establish new mentoring program

Dazha Austin | Staff Writer

According to the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences, mentoring is a relationship between two individuals based on a mutual desire for development towards career goals and objectives.

By sharing fun activities and exposing a mentee to new experiences, a mentor encourages positive choices, promotes high self-esteem, supports academic achievement, and introduces the young person to new ideas.

Khadijah White, a St. Louis, Missouri native and first-year business marketing major at Hampton University has been inspired to create a new mentorship program.

What many people do not know, is that the distance from St. Louis, Missouri to Ferguson, Missouri is approximately 8 miles.

Ferguson was the home of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, who was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer.

The shooting prompted protests that rocked the area for weeks.

On Nov. 24 in 2014, the St. Louis County prosecutor announced that a grand jury had decided to not indict Mr. Wilson. The announcement set off another wave of protests.

“I had a summer volunteer experience at a program called Freedom School of Pagedale, Missouri. At this institution, volunteers worked with children of “the ghetto” in hopes of keeping them off the streets during the summer whereas they had the freest time,” White said describing her involvement in the program.

“Within my program we provide mentorship as well as promote academic success by providing tutoring, and other tools and resources needed to reach that level of academic excellence,”

She expressed that she plans to do this for the rest of her life. White’s passion is best shown through her community organization entitled “The Journey to Change” designed to work with juvenile detention centers.

Their desire is to provide youth with the necessary tools and resources and to prevent adolescents from engaging in criminal activities that can hinder their futures.

As the CEO and Founder of “The Journey to Change,” Khadijah envisions a future in which success is within reach of every child in the Hampton Roads area.

She hopes that her organization will help the adolescents empower themselves and influence future generations toward making a difference for themselves, their community and the global community.

“As a young African American woman, I take pride in demonstrating leadership in everything I do.”

White has gotten a group of other students together to  implant a mentoring program here on campus. The program is serving different elementary schools within the area.

“Demonstrating leadership gives me the opportunity to show others that I am competent and capable of excelling in the future that lies ahead despite the obstacles set before me,” White said.

“With these characteristics, I have made a conscious effort to reach out to my community and model to others the importance of leadership, hard work, and diligence. By recognizing that youth tend to learn and do by what they see, I strive to lead by example and make it my passion to set a positive example to inspire others with my aspirations of making a difference.”

Khadijah White came to Hampton with a plan to make a difference, and you can help to. Contact khadijah.tw@gmail.com for more information.

We rep Quintessence

(quintessencexinstagram)
(quintessencexinstagram)

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.”