Following the devastation of Hurricane Dorian, Hampton University stepped up and vowed to allow students who had been displaced by the disaster continue their education at the institution for free. The Virginia-based historically Black university stayed true to its promise and welcomed students on campus earlier this week, the Washington Post reported.
The initiative was a collaborative effort between Hampton University and the University of the Bahamas. Through the partnership, displaced students who attended the Bahamas-based university would receive free enrollment and room & board during the fall semester at Hampton while the Bahamas rebuilds. With the assistance of the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas and the faculty at Hampton, 46 students were able to get expedited student visas and arrived on campus on September 24. The students received a warm welcome to Hampton. There was a performance by the school’s marching band and they were given toiletries and Hampton University items.
“Giving of yourself to another is one of the greatest gifts we can bestow. You are welcomed here not just because of the university president, but because of our staff and our faculty and our students and our band,” Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey told the students. “Everybody wanted to give you a royal welcome — and it’s so very genuine.” Several individuals including Hampton University board member Zachary Scott and Pastor Jamal Bryant helped fund the initiative.
The students are grateful for the university’s support and look forward to continuing their education at the HBCU. “I want to experience as much as possible here. I want to meet people, and I want to gain as much knowledge as I can,” said sophomore Krishona Minnis. As the students prepare to start their fall semester, the devastation in the Bahamas is continuing to unfold. According to CNN, 600 people are still missing.