NAACP 109th Founders Day Celebration

Steven Hall | Staff Writer

On Thursday, February 15, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) celebrated its 109th Founders Day.

As one of the largest civil organizations in the nation, the NAACP has many chapters across the country, including the one on the campus of Hampton University.

Students joined NAACP chapter members for a campus-wide Founder’s Day celebration in the Student Center Bowling Alley. The event included food, drinks, and music; it was a great time for all members and non-members to gain an understanding of the organization, its history and reflect upon their campus involvement.

“It was a fun event. We all had time to reflect on the many accomplishments we made throughout the year,” said Daryl Riley Jr, a junior from Newburgh, New York.

Current chapter President Jeremiah Edwards is satisfied with his accomplishments for the organization this school year.

“We were able to reimagine and rebuild the NACCP on campus with the mindset that all lives can’t matter without black lives, and we achieved every goal that has been set,” said Edwards, a senior from Snellville, Ga.

Under Edwards’ leadership the organization hosted various events focused on issues in the African-American community. These events included a visit from Reverend Jesse Jackson who spoke on the importance of voting and health care, a panel discussion on the history of the N-word and a study hall in preparation for midterms. The chapter will also host an upcoming panel discussion on financial preparation in March.

Edwards says his favorite part of being president is “watching people acknowledge and utilize the power that they have within themselves,” which aligns with the objectives of the organization.

As part of the Youth and College Division of the NAACP the Hampton University chapter arranges workshops for college-bound students, focusing on financial aid, curriculum selection scholarship applications. Members also offer guidance and consultation for at-risk students, youth seminars on the cause and effects of racial discrimination and facilitate multi-racial meetings.

The organization also works to make positive changes in the Hampton Roads community. Members voiced their opinions at two school board meetings in early November when the renaming of Jefferson Davis Middle School and Campus at Lee was discussed.

Hampton University’s NAACP chapter continues its involvement nationally by attending NAACP conventions, sponsoring tutorial programs, conducting voter registration drives and hosting a campus-wide Mr. and Miss NAACP pageant.

The members of the Hampton University chapter of the NAACP welcomes all students to join them in making a difference in the lives of future generations of African Americans.


Hampton University Celebrates its 150th Founder’s Day

Naomi Ludlow | Arts & Entertainment Editor


“Hampton University continues to sculpt and mold the hopes and dreams of many generations to come,” said keynote speaker Gen. Darrell Williams at HU’s 125th Founder’s Day celebration.

Last Sunday marked the 150th anniversary of Gen. Samuel Armstrong founding of the institution.

Despite its founding 150 years ago, the university still cherishes its foundation and reasoning behind its founding.

Gen. Darrell Williams

HU alumnus Williams captured the extent of his experience at Hampton University within a few minutes. As the first in his family to go to college, Williams knew he was blessed to be able to live out his hopes and dreams.

During his tenure, he realized he was a part of something greater, and Hampton University will help him produce an even better version of himself.

Williams discussed the foundation for which Hampton University was founded upon the head, the heart, and the hands. Gen. Armstrong created a curriculum for students to receive traditional courses, but included the importance to balance those out with lessons that can be used in everyday life.

For the past 40 years Hampton University’s vision has been upheld under the guidance of President William R. Harvey. Under his direction Harvey ensures the student body, faculty, and staff understand the importance of legacy and leadership.

“President Harvey continues to push me to become my full potential. His speech at today’s event pulled out a new drive that wasn’t there before,” said Junior Adrienne Arnold, a nursing major from Chicago, Illinois.

Arnold shared her desire for bigger goals and Hampton University is giving her the opportunity.

Students say Harvey’s leadership and Hampton University’s legacy plays a huge role in the opportunities in their life.

Seeing HU pirate battalion Williams evoked his time as a pirate battalion. He understood their journey and reminded them of Hampton that their hard work will pay off. Williams concluded his speech by encouraging future generations to endure the vision of HU’s founder Gen. Samuel Armstrong.

Following his speech was a song by the Hampton University concert choir that restated the positivity and forward thinking that was conveyed in each speech.

Dr. Christine Darden and retired Army Lt. Col. Claude Vann III were recognized for their extraordinary work within the Hampton community with the Presidential Citizenship Award.

Hampton University’s founder’s day recognizes its rich history, legacy, the great individuals it produces, and the great individuals current students will become.

A recap of this event is available on the Hampton University website:

Hampton football welcomes new head coach, Robert Prunty

Ayanna Maxwell | Editor-in-Chief

Hampton University’s 21st head coach, Robert Prunty | Hampton University Office of University Relations 

Hampton University announced Robert Prunty as its new football coach Dec. 8 at a news conference in the Student Center Theater.

Senior Public Relations and Multimedia Marketing Specialist Matthew White greeted the audience with a friendly reminder of the 2017-2018 school year’s significance, being that it is President William R. Harvey’s 40th anniversary and the university’s 150th anniversary of existence.

Hampton Athletic Director Eugene Marshall Jr. then took to the mic. He recalled the intense selection process, saying that there were “about 87 candidates from around the country.” He continued, “Out of these 87 candidates, 10 were current NFL/CFL assistant coaches. Ten were former or current FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) head coaches. Another 10 were assistant or assistant head [coaches] from FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision). Over 50 percent [of the candidates] wanted this job because we’re moving to the Big South.”

According to Marshall, Prunty’s credentials make him more than qualified for the position. Prunty, a Chatham native, spent two years at Hampton University.

“He bleeds blue and white,” Marshall said.

Prunty was regarded as a top recruiter at Texas Tech and Cincinnati. He also spent time as an associate head coach, defensive line coach and defensive coordinator at Eastern Carolina.

“We [wanted] someone [who’s] going to coach, lead [and] mentor; and at the end of the day, Coach Prunty was at the top of that list,” Marshall said.

Being a former Hamptonian, Prunty was eager to return to his “Home by the Sea.”

“In 1983, God brought me to Hampton University,” Prunty said. “In 2017, God brought me back to Hampton University.”

The university’s 21st head coach looks forward to selflessly working with the team.

“This is not my football team,” he said. “This is the university’s football team. It’s the alumni’s football team. It’s the players’ football team. It’s the fans’ and the community’s.”

Prunty discussed his goals for the Pirates as well.

“I want the players here to know that I’m going to recruit you first,” he said. “I know [there are] some guys in this room [who are] waiting for a chance. It’s an open door now. Everybody gets a shot.”

He spoke on his plans for local recruitment. According to Prunty, every coach on the Pirates’ staff will be responsible for recruiting from a certain amount of schools in the 757 area code. He believes that Hampton has more to offer athletes in the area who are overlooked.

In regards to the upcoming season, Prunty exuded ambition.

“We will be fundamental and disciplined,” he said. “We’re going to be aggressive. I’m excited for these young men to go to the Big South because we want to go in there winning. I didn’t come [to Hampton] to lose.”

Emergency grant to resolve financial obstacles for HU students

Ya-Marie Sesay | Campus Editor

The Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) awarded Hampton University with an emergency aid grant for students that may have an unforeseen financial barrier that prevents them from continuing their college education.

The grant will provide a maximum of $500 to each eligible student over the course of the program. The program is for the Spring 2018 semester and hopes to support the persistence of students toward college graduation by removing unforeseen financial barriers.

In order to become eligible for the program, students must be enrolled in Hampton University as a full-time or part-time student receiving a certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree. Students must complete an application and upload documentation of financial need. The student may have an expense paid only once from the grant, and must be enrolled during the semester in which the aid is awarded.

The awarded aid may only be used for unexpected expenses to eligible students despite the amount of credit hours. It can be paid to third parties by the institution or through a gift card for students’ financial emergencies. Eligible expenses include utilities, housing/rent, food, medical/dental and more.

Eligible students may not use the emergency aid grant for school expenses such parking fines, books or required school supplies, and it may not be used to pay prior balances.

The ECMC will not fund the amount directly to the students and may not exceed the amount of need based on the documentation provided.

“I think it’s a great idea, especially after this summer where we saw a lot of our fellow students starting GoFundMe accounts trying to raise money for school,” said Alexis Harris. “Unfortunately unexpected emergency financial situations happen to us in life sometimes, and to have our school provide that support is amazing,” said Harris.

Students interested in applying for the grant can reach out to Dr. Barbara Inman at 757-727-5264 or via e-mail at

Hampton commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Leenika Belfield-Martin | Lifestyle Editor

Courtesy of Leenika Belfield-Martin

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is more than just a day off for Hampton University. It is a day filled with reflection, service and unity. Now, almost 50 years after King’s death, students at Hampton and people across the world still march for justice.

The winter weather and snow flurries didn’t deter Hampton students, staff and community members from marching last Monday morning. One of those marchers, Hampton University student Amber Jones, said that the significance of the day is “honoring the legacy of one of the most pivotal trailblazers we have in the African-American community.” Jones is a senior biology major, leadership studies minor and the vice president of the student recruitment team.

Following the march, a program was held in Ogden Hall. Some special guests from the Hampton community attended the event, including Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck and David Nygaard, who is running for Congress.

Courtesy of Leenika Belfield-Martin

The program featured musical selections from “The Sounds of Greer,” a spoken word from Mr. NAACP, an interpretative dance from the Terpsichorean Dance Company and a keynote address from Dr. Sarita M. Wilson-Guffin.

“If we ever needed a perfect day to stand up and speak out against bigotry and xenophobia, and to remind people that we aren’t going to let anyone turn us around, then today is that day,” said Jeremiah Edwards, the president of Hampton University’s NAACP. “It’s a day that allows us to reflect on struggle that occurred in the name of justice. It also forces us to be reminded of what is at stake if we don’t keep up the fight.”

Edwards also said he believes that King wouldn’t be too disappointed with the African-American community today.

“I believe that the black community is thriving; however, like any other community, we have our own issues to deal with,” Edwards said. “I think [King] would tell us that there is more work to be done.”

When Wilson-Guffin took to the podium, she described the purpose of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a day to “celebrate [and] commemorate a life of one’s shoulders we stand on today.” The speaker reminded the audience that although the “the mission is different; the message is the same.”

Even though the Civil Rights Era is long gone, people are still fighting to have equal rights in America and around the world.

The speaker compared the issues of today with the problems of the past and asked the audience, “Have we felt so complacent that chaos feels comfortable?” The audience was so moved by Wilson-Guffin’s speech that they gave her a standing ovation.

The speech particularly resonated with Edwards.

“My favorite part was her tag line: different mission, same message,” Edwards said. “That’s so true. We are facing a different group of people who are determined to make sure that actions of injustice prevail. We have to come up with a new plan, but make sure we keep the same message.”

Wilson-Guffin is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Combining her love of ministry and dance, Wilson-Guffin wrote her novel Dance the World: A Handbook for Liturgical Dance Ministries.

Wilson-Guffin has a special connection to Hampton because she is the daughter of Dr. Greer Dawson Wilson, the founder of the Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Program. The Student Leadership Program has grown to become one of the most prestigious organizations on Hampton’s campus.

China book deal leads to student scholarships

Amber Smith | Staff Writer

President William R. Harvey | Stephanie Smith

President Dr. William R. Harvey launched his book, The Principles of Leadership, in China via video correspondence Thursday night. The book was highly anticipated by the people of China who expressed their excitement for the release. Every penny of the proceeds from the book will contribute to scholarships for students at Hampton University.

“My book is designed to assist current and aspiring leaders in their particular domain,” said Dr. Harvey.

Dr. Harvey expressed his gratitude and excitement for the book expansion to billions of viewers in China in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications’ television studio. A key component that Dr. Harvey wants readers in China to gain from the book is the importance of trust.

“Trust is the foundation for any personal or professional relationship. Whether it is in the United States, on Hampton University’s campus or in China, trust is key for any leader,” said Dr. Harvey.

President Dr. Harvey and his wife have donated over $3 million in scholarships to students and institutions on Hampton University’s campus over the years, and donating 100 percent of the proceeds from his book deal in China are sure to boost these contributions.

“We are going to continue to support our students here in all kinds of ways, just as we have always done,” said Dr. Harvey.

Although President Dr. Harvey was unable to be physically present for the launch, the enthusiasm from the people of China was immense.

“I am pleased to connect with people of China, a country that I loved when I visited, and to have people learn from the principles of my leadership model is a pleasure,” said Dr. Harvey.

The promoters for The Principles of Leadership suspect that the book will do amazing in China due to the great interest. This will ultimately benefit students here at Hampton University and contribute to their education.

“Leadership is not easy; it does not mean that you put your finger in the wind and follow that direction. You have to do what you think is right and best, and let the chips fall where they may,” said Dr. Harvey.

Dr. Harvey’s book was released in the U.S. in 2016. The book is focused on 10 principles that distinguish effective leaders in life and business. The principles are vision, work ethic, academic excellence, team building, innovation, courage, management, fairness, fiscal conservatism and results.

This is a great opportunity, as it is Hampton University’s 150th and Dr. Harvey’s 40th anniversary celebration. Principles of Leadership can be purchased in Hampton University’s newly renovated bookstore, or online at for $24.99.

Harveys’ six-figure donation creates new scholarships for students

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.

HU students participate in alumna’s producer battle

Stephanie Smith | Contributing Writer

Hampton University alumna and founder of I Beat Daily, Raychel J., arranged a producer battle in HU’s student center cyber lounge. The event took place on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. and was ongoing until midnight.

Producers from all around Virginia registered and submitted beats for Raychel’s I Beat Daily event to expose their music and network with other music-enthusiasts, producers, songwriters, judges and more.

Before the producer battle, there was a songwriter showcase in which three HU students were a part of. 4AM Chef Jimmy, Franky Bandz and Zay Blaze all got the opportunity to present their music and allowed the judges to critique their work.

Each judge had credentials: Andrew Hypes, producer for the three-time Grammy-winning hip-hop artist Lecrae; Batman, Def Jam Records Marketing/promotions representative; and HighDefRazjah, who has placements with ASAP Ferg and Rae Sremmurd.

All three judges were straightforward with producers and shared their tips on how important professionalism is to the music industry. “Everyone did their thing tonight, like I haven’t heard anything bad all night,” Andrew Hypes announced.

A total of 20 beat-makers were picked to compete, and some of those chosen were also HU students. The winner, Chesapeake’s Andre Palace, received $300 in cash along with an Atlantic Records A&R meeting, a slot on I Beat Daily’s mixtape and a chance to visit New York during Grammy week in 2018.

All participants are encouraged to compete again. “This is like my 10th or 11th beat battle, and I’ve been making beats for about 12 years now.” Andre Palace said. Palace also plans to participate in the next I Beat Daily battle in Virginia, which will be hosted in the cyber lounge again.

Some HU students who were in attendance of I Beat Daily’s official VA producer battle appreciated Raychel for bringing more excitement to Hampton Roads. “I Beat Daily’s event was fun. I came to show support for my friend, 3rd, competing. I loved how producers and songwriters connected tonight,” said junior Amal Ahmed.

I Beat Daily founder Raychel J. inspires many as her beat competitions began while she was a junior at Hampton University. The Atlanta native has always been passionate about music. “I grew up in the band. I started when I was in sixth grade.” Raychel said. In addition, she played the trumpet and was a part of HU’s Marching Force and Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority.

Raychel explained why she started a business revolving around producers: “I believe the producers work harder than the artists because finding those sounds, knowing where to place them and knowing how to manipulate them into something amazing takes a lot.”

Aside from the musicality of her college career, Raychel was an ambitious student who studied business management and marketing. While attending HU, Raychel received a few music label-related internships, including one with Interscope Records.

“I interned for Interscope when I was a junior. One of my big sorors told me they were starting up a college market promotion team and told me to send my resume,” Raychel said.

I Beat Daily was launched to show more appreciation toward music. “The artists, talents and singers are always glorified, but you wouldn’t have a song without the producer,” Raychel said. She also specified what she looks for in beat submissions. “I listen for producers’ sound selection and mixing as well,” she added.

VA’s Official Producer Battle and showcase was celebrated in memory of Interscope field marketing representative Cholo.

“Cholo organized all the meet-and-greets in Virginia with Interscope artists, radio interviews and much more.” Raychel said. Cholo was the reason why Raychel met many big-time artists when they were up and coming, such as Kendrick Lamar.

Although the battles branched in Virginia, Raychel still organizes I Beat Daily battles in North Carolina and Georgia for all local music enthusiasts, artists, songwriters and producers to show out.

Raychel operates all pages and replies to many users, especially those who are producers or aspiring interns. If interested in participating in or attending the next producer battle, you can follow I Beat Daily on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates @ibeatdaily.

Global Awareness Day: Encouragement of study abroad programs

Amber Smith | Staff Writer IMG_6215


Captivating cultures were discussed at Hampton University’s Global Awareness Day. The School of Liberal Arts and Education and the Department of English and Foreign Languages came together to enlighten students about the privileges of studying abroad. Harvey Library Meeting Room was filled with students from all backgrounds and majors to learn more about this process.

“Going to Spain is a wonderful experience. You will be working, experiencing new opportunities and earning money,” said Brenda Marrero.

Study abroad programs are open to students from any major, and fluency in a certain foreign language is not required. The faculty and staff from the study abroad programs and the foreign language department are there to support students who desire to travel abroad.

If students want to study abroad, they are well prepared to make the transition to another country comfortable. The faculty and staff want students to be able to be competitive and have confidence while they are traveling in another country.

“Being aware of other cultures and picking up a second language is very helpful in the professional world,” said junior Olivia Staples.

Global Awareness Day not only encouraged students to expand their learning by studying abroad, but also urged students to get involved by using their skills to give back to the community. One way students can do this is through programs like the Spanish Latino Initiative.

The Spanish Latino Initiative was created in 2015 and is designed to serve the community with professional development, education and training. Latino youth are less likely to be enrolled in school, and this program aims to help improve that by aiding with English courses.

“There is nothing better than being able to say [that] I, as a student, helped another student,” said Victoria Cartagena, HU Hispanic and Latino Initiative participant.

While traveling to another country may seem frightening or uncomfortable for some, the study abroad programs ensure that students will be safe and secure in their designated countries.

Students who travel abroad will have the opportunity to make long-lasting relationships, network, learn and gain real-world experience beyond the classroom. The connections and memories made abroad will stay with students forever.