Hampton University is a private historically black university in Hampton, Virginia. It was founded in 1868 by black and white leaders of the American Missionary Association after the American Civil War to provide education to freedmen. It is home to the Hampton University Museum, which is the oldest museum of the African diaspora in the United States, and the oldest museum in the commonwealth of Virginia. In 1878, it established a program for teaching Native Americans that lasted until 1923.
|Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute|
|Motto||"The Standard of Excellence, An Education for Life"|
|Established||April 1, 1868|
|Affiliation||None (formerly, American Missionary Association)|
|President||William R. Harvey|
|Campus||Suburban, 314 acres (1.27 km2)|
|Newspaper||The Hampton Script|
|Colors||Reflex Blue & White|
|Athletics||NCAA Division I FCS|
|Affiliations||Big South Conference|
The campus looking south across the harbor of Hampton Roads was founded on the grounds of "Little Scotland", a former plantation in Elizabeth City County not far from Fortress Monroe and the Grand Contraband Camp that gathered nearby. These facilities represented freedom to former slaves, who sought refuge with Union forces during the first year of the war.
The American Missionary Association (AMA) responded in 1861 to the former slaves' need for education by hiring its first teacher, Mary Smith Peake, who had secretly been teaching slaves and free blacks in the area despite the state's prohibition in law. She first taught for the AMA on September 17, 1861, and was said to gather her pupils under a large oak. After the tree was the site of the first reading in the former Confederate states of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, it was called the Emancipation Oak. The tree, now a symbol of the university and of the city, is part of the National Historic Landmark District at Hampton University.
The Hampton Agricultural and Industrial School, later called the Hampton Institute, was founded in 1868 after the war by the biracial leadership of the AMA, who were chiefly Congregational and Presbyterian ministers. It was first led by former Union General Samuel Chapman Armstrong. Among the school's famous alumni is Dr. Booker T. Washington, an educator who founded the Tuskegee Institute.
During the American Civil War (1861–1865), Union-held Fortress Monroe in southeastern Virginia at the mouth of Hampton Roads became a gathering point and safe haven of sorts for fugitive slaves. The commander, General Benjamin F. Butler, determined they were "contraband of war", to protect them from being returned to slaveholders, who clamored to reclaim them. As numerous individuals sought freedom behind Union lines, the Army arranged for the construction of the Grand Contraband Camp nearby, from materials reclaimed from the ruins of Hampton, which had been burned by the retreating Confederate Army. This area was later called "Slabtown."
Hampton University traces its roots to the work of Mary S. Peake, which began in 1861 with outdoor classes which she taught under the landmark Emancipation Oak in the nearby area of Elizabeth City County. The newly issued Emancipation Proclamation was first read to a gathering under the historic tree there in 1863.
After the War: teaching teachers
After the War, a normal school (teacher training school) was formalized in 1868, with former Union brevet Brigadier General Samuel C. Armstrong (1839–1893) as its first principal. The new school was established on the grounds of a former plantation named "Little Scotland", which had a view of Hampton Roads. The original school buildings fronted the Hampton River. Legally chartered in 1870 as a land grant school, it was first known as Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute.
Typical of historically black colleges, Hampton received much of its financial support in the years following the Civil War from the American Missionary Association (whose black and white leaders represented the Congregational and Presbyterian churches), other church groups and former officers and soldiers of the Union Army. One of the many Civil War veterans who gave substantial sums to the school was General William Jackson Palmer, a Union cavalry commander from Philadelphia. He later built the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, and founded Colorado Springs, Colorado. As the Civil War began in 1861, although his Quaker upbringing made Palmer abhor violence, his passion to see the slaves freed compelled him to enter the war. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery in 1894. (The current Palmer Hall on the campus is named in his honor.)
Unlike the wealthy Palmer, Sam Armstrong was the son of a missionary to the Sandwich Islands (which later became the U.S. state of Hawaii). He also had dreams for the betterment of the freedmen. He patterned his new school after the model of his father, who had overseen the teaching of reading, writing and arithmetic to the Polynesians. He wanted to teach the skills necessary for blacks to be self-supporting in the impoverished South. Under his guidance, a Hampton-style education became well known as an education that combined cultural uplift with moral and manual training. Armstrong said it was an education that encompassed "the head, the heart, and the hands."
At the close of its first decade, the school reported a total admission in the ten years of 927 students, with 277 graduates, all but 17 of whom had become teachers. Many of them had bought land and established themselves in homes; many were farming as well as teaching; some had gone into business. Only a very small proportion failed to do well. By another 10 years, there had been over 600 graduates. In 1888, of the 537 still alive, three-fourths were teaching, and about half as many undergraduates were also teaching. It was estimated that 15,000 children in community schools were being taught by Hampton's students and alumni that year.
Booker T. Washington: spreading the educational work
Among Hampton's earliest students was Booker T. Washington, who arrived from West Virginia in 1872 at the age of 16. He worked his way through Hampton, and then went on to attend Wayland Seminary in Washington D.C. After graduation, he returned to Hampton and became a teacher. Upon recommendation of Sam Armstrong to the founder Lewis Adams and others, of a small new school in Tuskegee Alabama that had begun in 1874. In 1881, Washington went to Tuskegee at age 25 to strengthen it and develop it to the status of a Normal school, one recognized as being able to produce qualified teachers. This new institution eventually became Tuskegee University. Embracing much of Armstrong's philosophy, Washington built Tuskegee into a substantial school and became nationally famous as an educator, orator, and fund-raiser as well. He collaborated with the philanthropist Julius Rosenwald in the early 20th century to create a model for rural black schools – Rosenwald established a fund that matched monies raised by communities to build more than 5,000 schools for rural black children, mostly in the South. Washington recruited his Hampton classmate (1875), Charles W. Greene to the work at Tuskegee in 1888 to found the Agriculture Department. Washington and Greene recruited George Washington Carver to the Tuskegee Agriculture faculty upon his graduation with a master's degree from Iowa State University in 1896. Carver provided such technical strength in Agriculture that in 1900, Booker T. Washington assigned Greene to establish a demonstration of black business capability and economic independence off-campus in Tuskegee. This project, entirely black-owned, comprised 4,000 lots of real estate and was formally established and designated Greenwood in 1901, as a demonstration for black-owned business and residential districts in every city in the nation with a significant black population. After Booker T. Washington visited Tulsa, in what is now Tulsa Oklahoma in 1905 and addressed a large gathering there, the Oklahomans followed the Tuskegee model and named Tulsa's black-owned and operated district "Greenwood" in 1906.
In 1878, Hampton established a formal education program for Native Americans. In 1875 at the end of the American Indian Wars, the United States Army sent seventy-two warriors from the Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche and Caddo Nations, to imprisonment and exile in St. Augustine, Florida. Essentially they were considered hostages to persuade their peoples in the West to keep peace. Richard Henry Pratt supervised them at Fort Marion and began to arrange for their education in the English language and American culture. Numerous visitors to St. Augustine from the North became interested in their cases and volunteered as teachers. They also provided them with art supplies, and some of the resulting works (including by David Pendleton Oakerhater) are held by the Smithsonian Institution. At the end of the warriors' incarceration, Pratt convinced seventeen to enroll at Hampton Institute for a fuller education. (Later Pratt founded the Carlisle Indian Industrial School based on the same philosophy of education and assimilation). Altogether, seventy Native Americans, young men and women from various tribes, mostly from the Plains rather than the acculturated tribes that had occupied Virginia, joined that first class. Because Virginia's aristocrats sometimes boasted of their Native American heritage through Pocahontas, it was hoped that the Native American students would help locals to accept the university's black students. The black students were also supposed to "civilize" the Native American students to current American society, and the Native Americans to "uplift the Negro[es]."
The program died in 1923, in the face of growing controversy over racial mingling. Native Americans stopped sending their boys to the school after some employers fired Native American men because they had been educated with blacks. The program's final director resigned because she could not prevent "amalgamation" between the Native American girls and black boys.
Name changes, expansion, and community
Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute became simply Hampton Institute in 1930. In 1931 the George P. Phenix School for all age groups was opened there under principal Ian Ross. A new nurses' training school was attached to the Dixie Hospital, with Nina Gage as director. In 1945 the Austrian-American psychologist, art educator, and author of the influential text book Creative and Mental Growth Viktor Lowenfeld joined the Hampton faculty as an assistant professor of industrial arts and eventually became chair of the Art Department. By 1971 the university offered 42 evening classes in programs including "Educational Psychology", "Introduction to Oral Communication", "Modern Mathematics", and "Playwriting", among others. At the time, the tuition cost for these courses was $30 per semester hour. With the addition of departments and graduate programs, it became Hampton University in 1984. Originally located in Elizabeth City County, it was long-located in the Town of Phoebus, incorporated in 1900. Phoebus and Elizabeth City County were consolidated with the neighboring City of Hampton to form a much larger independent city in 1952. The City of Hampton uses the Emancipation Oak on its official seal. From 1960 to 1970, noted diplomat and educator Jerome H. Holland was president of the Hampton Institute.
2018 student protests and demands
In early 2018, Hampton University students launched a protest calling for the university administration to address several concerns they believed to be longstanding and urgent, including food quality, living conditions, and sexual assault. Students shared videos and photos related to these concerns. The university released a statement indicating that it was "moving forward" to address student concerns and issues.
The campus contains several buildings that contribute to its National Historic Landmark district: Virginia-Cleveland Hall (freshman female dormitory, as well as former home to the school's two cafeterias), Wigwam building (home to administrative offices), Academy Building (administrative offices), Memorial Chapel (religious services) and the President's Mansion House.
The original High School on the campus became Phenix Hall when Hampton City Public Schools opened a new Phenix High School in 1962. Phenix Hall was damaged in a minor fire on June 12, 2008.
The Hampton University Museum was founded in 1868 and is the nation's oldest African-American museum. The museum contains over 9,000 pieces, some of which are highly acclaimed.
The Emancipation Oak was cited by the National Geographic Society as one of the 10 great trees in the world.
The waterfront campus is settled near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
National Historic Landmark District
|Location||NW of jct. of U.S. 60 and the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, Hampton, Virginia|
|Area||314 acres (127 ha)|
|Architect||Richard Morris Hunt; Et al.|
|NRHP reference #||69000323|
|Added to NRHP||November 12, 1969|
|Designated NHLD||May 30, 1974|
|Designated VLR||September 9, 1969|
A 15-acre (61,000 m2) portion of the campus along the Hampton River, including many of the older buildings, is a U.S. National Historic Landmark District. Buildings included are:
- Mansion House, original plantation residence of Little Scotland
- Virginia Hall built in 1873
- Academic Hall
- Marquand Memorial Chapel, a Romanesque Revival red brick chapel with a 150-foot (46 m) tower
As reported by the university in 2015, nearly two-thirds of the student body is female, and the other third male. Approximately 90% of the population identifies as Black, and only 32% are Virginia residents.
|Asian or Pacific Islander||1.08%|
- School of Engineering and Technology
- School of Pharmacy
- School of Business
- Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communication
- School of Nursing
- School of Liberal Arts and Education
- School of Science
- University College
- College of Virginia Beach
- Graduate College
The Freddye T. Davy Honors College is a non-degree granting college that offers special learning opportunities and privileges to the most high-achieving undergraduates. To join the honors college, students must formally accept an invitation given by the college or directly apply for admissions into the college.
Hampton University consistently ranks among the top five HBCUs in the nation and is ranked in Tier 1 (#218) among national universities by U.S. News & World Report.
Hampton's student to faculty ratio is 10 to 1, which is better than the national university average of 18 to 1. Also, Hampton has the second highest graduation rate among HBCUs.
Hampton is the first and only HBCU to have 100% control of a NASA Mission.
The Alumni Factor named Hampton one of the seven best colleges in Virginia.
- New Student Orientation (NSO) Week
- Alumni Day
- Parents' Weekend
- Mister Pirate Pageant
- Miss Hampton University Pageant
- Hampton Homecoming
- Fall Open House
- Hampton Founders' Day Celebration
- Black History Extravaganza
- Admitted Students Day (ASD)
- Student Leader Retreat
- Freshmen Week
- Battle of The States
- Student Leadership Elections
- Sophomore/Junior Week
- Senior Week
- Day of Giving
- Reunion Weekend
Greek Life and organizations
|Organization||Chapter Name||Chapter Symbol|
|CIO||Alpha Eta Rho - ΑΗΡ||Omicron Gamma||ΟΓ|
|NPHC||Alpha Phi Alpha - ΑΦΑ||Gamma Iota||ΓΙ|
|NPHC||Alpha Kappa Alpha - ΑΚΑ||Gamma Theta||ΓΘ|
|CIO||Chi Eta Phi - ΧΗΦ||Tau Beta||ΤΒ|
|NPHC||Delta Sigma Theta - ΔΣΘ||Gamma Iota||ΓΙ|
|CIO||Groove Phi Groove - GΦG||Pirate|
|NPHC||Iota Phi Theta - ΙΦΘ||Beta||Β|
|NPHC||Kappa Alpha Psi - ΚΑΨ||Beta Chi||ΒΧ|
|NPHC||Omega Psi Phi - ΩΨΦ||Gamma Epsilon||ΓΕ|
|CIO||Pershing Angels||Company U-4-5||U-4-5|
|CIO||Pershing Rifles||Company U-4||U-4|
|NPHC||Phi Beta Sigma - ΦΒΣ||Beta Gamma||ΒΓ|
|CIO||Phi Mu Alpha - ΦΜΑ||Pi Beta||ΠΒ|
|CIO||Sigma Alpha Iota - ΣΑΙ||Mu Gamma||ΜΓ|
|NPHC||Sigma Gamma Rho - ΣΓΡ||Zeta Xi||ΖΞ|
|CIO||Swing Phi Swing - SΦS||Upenda Undergraduate|
|CIO||Tau Beta Sigma - ΤΒΣ||Theta Phi||ΘΦ|
|NPHC||Zeta Phi Beta - ΖΦΒ||Rho Alpha||ΡΑ|
|Zildjian Phi Zildjian - ΖΦΖ||Zeta Delta||ΖΔ|
Hampton's colors are reflex blue and white, and their nickname is "The Pirates". Hampton sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (FCS for football) in the Big South Conference. They joined this in 2018 upon leaving the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Before joining the Big South, Hampton won MEAC titles in many sports, including football, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's track, and men's and women's tennis. Hampton is one of two NCAA Division 1 HBCU institutions (along with Tennessee State University, in the Ohio Valley Conference) to not be a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference or Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Hampton is the only HBCU with a competitive sailing team.
In 2001, the Hampton basketball team won its first NCAA Tournament game, when they beat Iowa State 58–57, in one of the largest upsets of all time. They were only the fourth fifteen-seed to upset a two-seed in the tournament's history. They returned to the tournament a year later, as well as in 2006, 2011, 2015 and 2016, having won their conference basketball tournament. Their NCAA tournament record is 2–6, including the play-in game.
The "Lady Pirates" basketball team has seen great success as well, and made trips to the NCAA tournament in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2010–2014, and 2017. In 1988, as a Division II school, the Lady Pirates won the NCAA Women's Division II Basketball Championship, defeating West Texas State. In 2011, as a number-13 seed, the Lady Pirates nearly upset Kentucky, but fell in overtime, 66-62. In 2015, the Lady Pirates played in the Women's NIT, where they defeated Drexel 45-42 in the opening round. However, in the second round, the team lost to West Virginia 57-39.
The Pirates won their conference title in football in 1997, shared the title 1998 and 2004, and won it again outright in 2005 and 2006. From 2004 to 2006, the team won three MEAC Championships and three SBN-Black College National Championships, and was ranked in the Division I FCS top 25 poll each year. The Pirates also sent five players to the NFL Combine in 2007, the most out of any FCS subdivision school for that year. They have also been dominant in tennis, winning the MEAC from 1996 to 1999, 2001–2003 and 2007 for the men, and 1998 and 2002–2004 for the women.
Pirate athletics are supported by a plethora of groups, including "The Force" Marching Band. The marching band has appeared at several notable events, including a Barack Obama Presidential Inauguration parade in Washington, DC. "The Force" was chosen out of a large pool of applicants to participate in the parade as the representative for the state of Virginia. "The Force" is complemented by the "Ebony Fire" all-women dance team, as well as "Silky", the flag team, and as of 2018, "Shimmering Sapphire Elegance" the majorette team. On January 4, 2019, The Force announced that they will be the first HBCU to participate in the 2020 Rome New Years Day Parade.
|Robert S. Abbott||1896||founder of The Chicago Defender|
|Percy Creuzot||1949||founder of Frenchy's Chicken in Houston, Texas|
|Charles Phillips||1986||CEO of Infor; former President of Oracle Corporation|
|St. Clair Drake||1931||sociologist and anthropologist; created the first African and African American studies program at Stanford University|
|Martha Louise Morrow Foxx||blind educator|
|Freeman A. Hrabowski III||1969||President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County|
|William C. Hunter||Dean of the Tippie College of Business at University of Iowa|
|Dr. Wilmer Leon||political scientist and associate professor in the Political Science Department at Howard University; talk show host on Urban View Channel 110 on Sirius XM Radio|
|Kimberly Oliver||2006 National Teacher of the Year|
|Hugh R. Page||1977||professor of theology and Africana Studies at the University of Notre Dame|
|Booker T. Washington||1875||founded Tuskegee University in Alabama|
Entertainment and the arts
|John T. Biggers||Harlem Renaissance muralist and founder of the Art Department at Texas Southern University|
|J.I.D||rapper, signed to Dreamville Records in 2017|
|Leslie Garland Bolling||1918||early 20th-century wood carver|
|Ruth E. Carter||1982||Oscar award winning American costume designer|
|Spencer Christian||former weatherman for Good Morning America, 1986–1998|
|DJ Babey Drew||2003||disc jockey|
|Doctur Dot||2013||Rapper, Member of EARTHGANG and co-founder of Spillage Village|
|DJ Envy||1999||disc jockey and host of The Breakfast Club|
|Brandon Fobbs||2002||actor; best known for his role in the film Pride|
|Kevin Frazier||sports anchor and entertainment news anchor|
|Beverly Gooden||2005||writer and activist|
|Biff Henderson||stage manager and personality on the Late Show with David Letterman|
|DJ Tay James||2009||disc jockey for Justin Bieber|
|Dorothy Maynor||concert singer|
|Orpheus McAdoo||1876||minstrel show impresario; toured Britain, South Africa and Australia|
|MC Ride||musician; best known for being the lead vocalist of Death Grips|
|Clarissa Sligh||1961||photographer, book artist|
|Brandon Mychal Smith||Actor|
|Johnny Venus||2013||Rapper, Member of EARTHGANG and co-founder of Spillage Village|
|A. S. (Doc) Young||1941||sports journalist|
Politics and government
|Honorable Roxanne E. Covington||Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge|
|Allyson Kay Duncan||4th Circuit US Circuit Court Judge|
|Vanessa D. Gilmore||Federal Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas|
|Theodore Theopolis Jones II||Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals, New York|
|Gloria Gary Lawlah||1960||Secretary of Aging for the State of Maryland|
|Spencer Overton||1990||election scholar, George Washington University Law School|
|Douglas Palmer||1973||Mayor of Trenton, New Jersey|
|Gregory M. Sleet||US District Court Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Delaware|
|Sylvia Trent-Adams||1987||First African-American nurse to serve as Surgeon General of the United States|
|Charles Wesley Turnbull||1958||former governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands|
|W. Carlton Weddington||member of Ohio House of Representatives|
|Ivory Lee Young Jr.||1986||City Councilmember with the Atlanta City Council District 3, Atlanta, Georgia 2002–2018|
|Stephanie Young||2006||Director of African American Outreach, Associate Director of Communications, The White House|
Science, health care, technology, engineering and mathematics
|William Claytor||1900||pioneering African-American mathematician|
|Mary Jackson||1942||Pioneering African-American engineer for NASA|
|Susan La Flesche Picotte||1886||first Native American physician|
Sociology and humanities
|Clara Byrd Baker||Educator, civic leader, and suffragette|
|Alberta Williams King||1924||mother of Martin Luther King Jr.|
|Elisabeth Omilami||Chief Executive Officer of Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless|
|Mychal Denzel Smith||2008||writer at The Nation, television commentator and author|
|Chris Baker||2008||current NFL defensive tackle|
|Darian Barnes||former NFL running back|
|Johnnie Barnes||former NFL wide receiver|
|Jamal Brooks||1999||former NFL linebacker|
|James Carter||award-winning track athlete|
|Mo'ne Davis||2023||Participant in the 2014 Little League World Series and 2014 AP Women's Athlete of the Year; scheduled to begin play for Hampton softball in the 2020 season|
|Marcus Dixon||current CFL defensive tackle; also played in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Jets|
|Reggie Doss||former NFL defensive end|
|Justin Durant||2007||current NFL linebacker, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions|
|Kenrick Ellis||current NFL defensive tackle, New York Jets|
|Devin Green||2005||former NBA player|
|Isaac Hilton||former NFL defensive end|
|Rick Mahorn||1980||former NBA player, Washington Bullets, Detroit Pistons, New Jersey Nets; WNBA Detroit Shock Head Coach|
|Jerome Mathis||former NFL wide receiver|
|Nevin McCaskill||former NFL offensive lineman|
|Francena McCorory||2010||track and field, NCAA 400m three-time champion|
|Marquay McDaniel||2007||CFL football player, Hamilton Tiger-Cats|
|Dick Price||1957||former head football coach at Norfolk State University, 1974–1983; former head coach of track team and athletic director at Norfolk State|
|Donovan Rose||1980||former NFL defensive back and former head coach of the Hampton Pirate football team|
|Zuriel Smith||2002||former NFL wide receiver and return specialist|
|Cordell Taylor||former NFL defensive back|
|Terrence Warren||former NFL wide receiver|
|Kellie Wells||track and field Olympic athlete; 100m hurdle bronze medalist, 2012|
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