Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey will be honored by his alma mater, Talladega College, tomorrow, Nov. 2nd, joining college officials as they break ground on a brand new art museum that will carry his name.
Dr. Harvey’s long-standing and generous giving to Talladega College, which graduated him at the start of a memorable, historic life journey, is being recognized with the groundbreaking ceremony on The William R. Harvey Art Museum, following his 10 a.m. Opening Convocation speech.
The William R. Harvey Art Museum will house the historic Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals, a three panel mural valued at $50 million, depicting the famed 1839 slave revolt aboard the trading ship Amistad.
The event will be a homecoming for Dr. Harvey, who remembers well that his education at Talladega College not merely textbooks, a syllabus and classroom time.
“My professors at Talladega College gave more than instruction. They taught us about life,” Dr. Harvey said. “They emphasized the importance of good character, good personal conduct — along with a mastery of a particular academic subject.”
A native of Brewton, Ala., Dr. Harvey’s accomplishments since graduation from Talladega College read like a Who’s Who list for several people (and he’s been on Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the South, Who’s Who is the Southeast, Who’s Who in Black America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who of Intellectuals, Who’s Who in Business and Finance). They include: educator, administrator, soldier, master’s student at Virginia State University, doctoral student at Harvard, college administrator, businessman, board member, board chair, and, of course, President of Hampton University since 1978.
Along the way, one thing has rung true for Dr. Harvey: give back generously to those who have poured themselves into him. That lesson was taught to him by his parents and strongly reinforced at Talladega College.
“We were taught that self-fulfillment did not reside in the immediate gratification of the appetite; the value of good health, family, honesty, decency, integrity and responsible personal behavior,” Dr. Harvey said.
And, give generously he has. Dr. Harvey has donated in excess of $1 million to his alma mater as well as more than $3 million to the mission of Hampton University.
Talladega College President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins said that he is proud to welcome Dr. Harvey home.
“Dr. William Harvey is another example of the top talent that has graduated from Talladega,” Dr. Hawkins said. “His career as an educational leader illustrates the high bar our students set and achieve.”
Dr. Harvey has transformed Hampton University from a small black college into a world-class leader in the field of higher education. Hampton University has balanced its budget and achieved a surplus during each of his 40 years. The endowment, which stood at $29 million when he became President now exceeds $1/4 Billion. The University’s first capital fundraising campaign in 1979 had a goal of $30 million. That campaign raised $46.4 million. The most recent campaign has a goal of $150 million of which $118 has already been achieved.
The father of three and grandfather of three, Dr. Harvey has served on the President’s National Advisory Council on Elementary and Secondary Education, the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service, the Chair for the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, the Commission on Presidential Scholars, the President’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges, and the U. S. Department of Commerce Minority Development Advisory Board. Additionally, Dr. Harvey has served as Chair of the Southern Universities Research Association (SURA) Council of Presidents, Chair of the Board of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), and Chair of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Council of Chief Executive Officers.