Dr. William R. Harvey, retiring president of Hampton University

HAMPTON, Va. – As Hampton University gears up to celebrate retiring president Dr. William R. Harvey’s 44 years of legendary service to the University, Dr. Harvey was surprised when he received a Certificate of Recognition from Glenn Youngkin, Governor of Virginia, declaring June 11, 2022 as Dr. William R. Harvey Day, in recognition of the significant achievements and contributions Dr. Harvey has made during his illustrious career as Hampton University President.

“Virginia has been my family’s home for 44 years, and it is a wonderful community,” said Dr. Harvey. “This honor is truly a surprise and is much appreciated. I want to thank Governor Glenn Youngskin for this recognition. This is a wonderful gesture from the leader of the Commonwealth.”

The certificate of recognition notes that Dr. Harvey “was appointed in July 1978 as the twelfth president of Hampton University, capturing this opportunity to grow and improve the university to make the most positive impact on students and their families. “This recognition also noted just a few of his many achievements, including “that in 1989, Dr. Harvey instituted project H.O.P.E. (Hampton’s Opportunity Program for Enhancement), which admits college-bound African-American males into Hampton, and in 1992, he initiated the Job Education Training (JET) Corps, a program modeled after the 1930’s Civilian Conservation Corps; and, WHEREAS, as an author lecturer, and recipient of numerous awards, Dr. William Harvey’s leadership at Hampton has yielded numerous accomplishments ranging from ninety-two new academic degrees, including twelve new doctoral programs, to be launch of four satellites in space; and, WHEREAS, Dr. Harvey’s proudest accomplishment is his role as mentor to seventeen of his former vice-presidents, challenging and guiding them to assume roles as president and CEOs while modeling his five priorities for success – outstanding character traits, high standards, a good work ethic, service to others, and teamwork.”

The proclamation closes with the Commonwealth of Virginia commending Dr. Harvey for his “four decades of dedication and lifetime of contribution to strengthening the Spirit of Virginia. Now, therefore, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize June 11, 2022 as Dr. William R. Harvey day in the Commonwealth of Virginia and call this observance to the attention of our citizens.”

Earlier this year, Dr. Harvey was recognized as one of the inaugural Dr. Lawrence A. Davis Jr. Trailblazers of Higher Education recipients among The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2022 by the HBCU Campaign Fund.

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CHICAGO, IL – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) announced the creation of the inaugural Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr. Trailblazers of Higher Education Award among The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders, a new honor that will recognize a current or retiring/retired president or chancellor that serves a historically black college or university (HBCU) or minority-serving institution (MSI) that uphold decade-long value and contributions to the field of higher education.

Receiving the inaugural award are retiring presidents Dr. Andrew Hugine, Jr. of Alabama A&M University, and Dr. William R. Harvey of Hampton University. Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr. will also be among Hugine and Harvey to receive the honor.

The award will be named after the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr. The recipients will have advanced the mission to drive change and inspire others. The individual has proven their responsibilities for shaping policies, changing perspectives, and making decisions that affect millions of people life’s in the higher education space.

Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr., Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

“This is a delightful time for us at HCF as we approach revealing the fifth class of honorees for the annual award recognition. As a student under Dr. Davis’ leadership, I appreciate all of his contributions to our beloved Dear Mother and am honored to acknowledge him in such a prestigious way,” said HCF President & CEO, Demetrius Johnson, Jr. “I commend Dr. Hugine and Dr. Harvey on a magnificent job well done for the roles that they’ve played at their institutions, and this could not be more than special to salute them for their leadership. We congratulate them both on their retirements and send our very best wishes.”

A native of Pine Bluff, Dr. Davis received his formal education at the Arkansas AM&N Laboratory and Merrill schools. A true believer in education, Dr. Davis attended Arkansas AM&N (now UAPB), University of Arkansas, and completed his doctorate degree at Iowa State University. Originally a teacher of Mathematics and Physics, Dr. Davis worked across the United States, from the halls of Mississippi Valley State University to the halls of NASA, before returning to his hometown to become a professor at UAPB. In 1991, Davis was named Chancellor of the university by Dr. B. Alan Sugg, former President of the U of A System. A published researcher, receiver distinguished alum awards from UAPB, U of A-Fayetteville, and Iowa State, and an active community member, Dr. Davis made UAPB athletics one of his many platforms during his tenure with the institution, and made many strides in the advancement and promotion of the various athletic programs the university operates. During his tenure, the football stadium and adjoining field house were constructed and completed, as well as the baseball complex and the UAPB Soccer Field. He led the university through a period of academic growth and spearheaded the accreditation and reaccreditation of various academic programs throughout the university. He also led the construction of three new academic buildings in the center of campus, as well as the renovation and construction of on-campus housing. After 21 years of leading the university, Dr. Davis retired in 2012.

The Annual Most Dominant HBCU Leaders Award & Class is a national recognition ranking that was created by the HBCU Campaign Fund, a non-profit that advocates for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs). The recipients are honored for their prominent and influential role in leadership and displays the characteristics of the responsibilities in the progression of effectively moving an institution forward.

The Class of 2022 is excepted to be announced early January.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) was founded in 2012 and is a non-profit educational organization that remains a strong advocate for students and higher education. The mission of HCF is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, programs, and for private and public HBCUs and MSIs. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

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Every Monday, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) will spotlight a Chancellor or President who currently serves a Historically Black College or University. This initiative recognizes and introduces those individuals who serve our nation HBCUs on a daily basis, changing and educating lives while producing the forthcoming visionary leaders of tomorrow.

This week’s Chancellor or President:  Dr. William R. Harvey, Hampton University

Dr. William R. Harvey, President of Hampton University

Dr. William R. Harvey is President of Hampton University and 100% owner of the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Houghton, Michigan. Since 1978, he has served with distinction as President of Hampton University and created a monumental legacy during his forty-one year tenure-one of the longest tenures of any sitting president of a college or university in the country. Dr. Harvey is described as “one of the most focused individuals that one can meet. He is relentlessly single-minded” when it comes to the advancement of the University. During the time that he has served as the helm, Dr. Harvey has made countless contributions to the University, the state of Virginia, and the nation.

Since being named President, Dr. Harvey has introduced innovations, which have solidified Hampton University’s stellar program among the nation’s colleges and universities. His innovative leadership is reflected in the growth and quality of the University’s student population, academic programs, physicals facilities, and financial base. During Dr. Harvey’s tenure as President, the student enrollment at Hampton University has increased from approximately 2,700 students over 6,300.

Dr. Harvey is the visionary and leader behind numerous community and educational initiatives. In 1994, he chaired the Virginia Peninsula United Way Campaign. He was the first African-American to head the organization’s annual drive and raised a record setting $6.6 million. Dr. Harvey chaired the annual fundraising dinner for the National Conference of Christians and Jews and was the first guest host at the Celebrity Luncheon for the Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Red Cross. A Star Scout as a young boy, he endowed an outstanding leadership award and leadership forum for the Colonial Virginia Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Dr. Harvey continued to share his treasure with the Peninsula community when he and Mrs. Harvey endowed a $1,000,000 scholarship in honor of his father for students from Hampton and Newport News who aspire to be teachers.

Dr. Harvey’s financial leadership is indicated in the financial growth and stability Hampton has achieved during his forty-one years as President. The University has balanced its budget and achieved a surplus during each of those years. The endowment, which stood at $29 million when he became President, now exceeds $250 million. The University’s first capital fundraising campaign in 1979 had a goal of $30,000,000. That campaign raised $46.4 million. The most recent campaign had a goal of $200 million and raised $264 million.

Along with his duties as President, the corporate boards that Dr. Harvey serves on, or has served on, are Fannie Mae, Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Signet Bank, Newport News Shipbuilding, Wachovia Bank (Mid-Atlantic Region), Newport News Savings Bank, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Houghton, Michigan, National Merit Scholarship Corporation, and the Harvard Cooperative Society. He is a member of Virginia Association of Higher Education, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia, and the Omega Psi Phi and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities.

Dr. Harvey’s achievements have been recognized through inclusion of Personalities of the South, Who’s Who in the South and Southeast, Who’s Who in Black America, Who’s Who in American Education, International Who’s Who of Intellectuals, Two Thousand Notable Americans, Who’s Who in Business and Finance, and Who’s Who in America.

A native of Brewton, Alabama, he is a graduate of Talladega College. After graduating from Talladega College, Dr. Harvey served three years on active duty with the United States Army. During that time, he saw duty in Europe and in the United States. He is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve. Dr. Harvey earned his doctorate in College Administration from Harvard University in 1972. Prior to assuming his current position, he served as Assistant for Governmental Affairs to the Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University; Administrative Assistant to the President at Fisk University; and as Administrative Vice President at Tuskegee University.

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About Hampton University

Hampton University is a comprehensive institution of higher education, dedicated to the promotion of learning, building of character and preparation of promising students for positions of leadership and service. HU curriculum emphasis is scientific and professional with a strong liberl arts under girding. In carrying out its mission, the University requires that everything that it does be of the highest quality. For more information, visit www.hamptonu.edu.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund

HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a non-profit advocacy organization which is mission to supporting the significance and campaign in raising funds for scholarships and services at historically black colleges and universities and predominately black institutions. HCF advocates for students, alumni, HBCU and PB institutions. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.