From the moment I stepped onto the campus with my parents and my sister, I knew that I wanted to attend Hampton University. Hello, ah-kitecture (Shout out to Mom, there)! That alone on a pennisula makes the campus magnificent. Several buildings are on the National Historic Register but that deserves a separate post. Maybe on some level the Hampton Housing Powers that Be knew that about my preservation fascination because I was assigned to Virginia Cleveland Hall, the oldest dorm on campus, which was built in 1874 (Hampton was founded in 1868). To me, V-C looked like Castle Greyskull on the He-Man Cartoon but I am told that today, students are comparing it to Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. Wow ya’ll I lived in Hogwarts!
Of course I loved the fact that Hampton also had my major, which at the time was journalism. But the thing was, I felt so at home there. Hey, I guess that’s why they call it “Home by the Sea”.
Anyway, I wanted to go to Hampton so badly that I only completed and turned in one college application. It sure saved on application fees and stamps. During my senior year at Hilton Head High, there were a lot of announcements over the p.a. system as to who was going where. Clemson, University of South Carolina, South Carolina State, and Georgia Southern topped the list. Of course some students were admitted to the Ivy League. I was proud the day my thick envelope came. It was God sent because I had gone to the altar and prayed at church for it. The next morning, I told my guidance counselor that I was going to Hampton University. Okay so why did this woman keep wanting to call it Hamden-Sydney because she had never heard of Hampton University? Well lady, (I forgot the name of the counselor) Hampton has heard of you. No, of course not “you” the woman, “you” Hilton Head Island. My uncle was working at the store the day they came. Then he called my father because President William Harvey and some officials from school were visiting the island. When my uncle told them that his niece (me) would be attending that fall, they invited me to a barbecue they were having. You see they had been vacationing on the island for years and I was the first from the island to attend Hampton. The visit was a treasured experience and one I wish I could repeat. If I were to visit them today, I would tell them that they gave me two important things; an excellent education and a cherrished degree.