HAMPTON, Va. — Dr. and Mrs. William R. Harvey are donating an unexpected and unprecedented gift of $553,000 to their ‘Home by the Sea.” Hampton‘s first couple is no stranger to giving and giving back to the university they have led for 40 years. This latest gift was given to the faculty and staff in the form of a 1% additional raise on top of the optional annual increase that is given at the start of each fiscal year. For an example, if the supervisor’s recommendation was a raise of 3%, Dr. Harvey’s gift will increase that raise to 4%. The Harvey’s personal generosity to Hampton University now totals nearly $4.2 million.
This offering truly displays Dr. and Mrs. Harvey’s heartfelt commitment to giving back to the university community they serve. There is no question that in the four decades of service, the Harvey’s have upheld THE standard of excellence that is Hampton University. The Harvey’s are more than President and First Lady of Hampton University, they are truly admired for being the heart and soul of this prestigious institution.
As a result of Dr. Harvey’s guidance, generosity, direction and service, Hampton University is an internationally renowned world-class leader in higher education. Dr. Harvey, with his wife of 52 years at his side, has transformed Hampton University from a small college to a world-class university. The students attending Hampton are destined for success as they join alumni who are leaders in some of the highest offices across a multitude of industries. Many alumni who were influenced by Dr. Harvey’s leadership will tell you how their alma mater excels above the rest.
The first couple’s history of giving includes covering salary increases during the lean financial periods. In 2011, Dr. and Mrs. Harvey gave a gift of $1 million to be utilized as incentives to increase faculty salaries. In 2011 and again in 2014, the Harvey’s gave donations of $166,000 and $108,403 respectively, to support wage increases for full-time permanent HU staff.
The Harvey’s also made a generous donation to scholarships in 2001. That year they gave a gift of $1 million to fund scholarships for students interested in becoming K-12 teachers.
In 2016, Dr. and Mrs. Harvey gave a $100,000 gift to the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute, which increased their endowment to over $3 million in scholarships for students to attend the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute (WRHLI). The students become “Harvey Scholars” after a rigorous selection process. Upon completion of the program, the fellows receive an 18-hour-minor in leadership studies and also attend a service learning initiative trip abroad.
The WRHLI was the brainchild of Dr. Harvey who convened several of his closest academic advisors with the clear purpose of creating an institute with a curriculum focused on character development, critical thinking, leadership theory and application, ethics and policy development.
As it relates to their latest gift, Dr. Harvey said, “Our Hampton community is a family. Ensuring each faculty and staff member receives what they are due is extremely important to me. We all work very hard to make Hampton University a dynamic and respected leader in higher education. With the help of everyone who gives so much to the campus, we have been able to become one of the top modest sized institutions in the world.”
The Harvey’s most recent contribution brings the personal donations to the university from its first family to $4,153,000.
As a visionary, Dr. Harvey has embraced HU founder General Samuel Chapman Armstrong’s mission to have every aspect at Hampton University excel. And excel it has under Dr. Harvey’s leadership. The William R. Harvey years, 40 and counting, will grace the record books as an unparalleled accounting of mega success, not just for the HU students, faculty and staff whose lives give testimony to the results of his labor, but for the global community of stakeholders who will continually reap the benefits of his astute leadership for generations to come.
Dr. Harvey has introduced innovations, which have solidified Hampton University’s stellar position among the nation’s colleges and universities. Ninety-two new academic programs, an endowment that has increased 866%, satellites on active missions in space, the largest free-standing proton therapy cancer treatment center in the world, speaks to his desire to leave the world better than he found it.
The Brewton, Alabama native is a servant leader who faces each day determined to enrich the lives of others. His blessed path led him from a small town to the coveted classrooms of Harvard University. With his Ivy League degree in hand, Dr. Harvey could have taken any one of so many prestigious university offers. However, he, the true educator, chose to lead at an HBCU where he could make a real difference in the academic worlds of young people who yearned for better lives. Dr. Harvey, the businessman, put his acumen to work placing Hampton on the fast track for growth and development as a world-class university.
Dr. and Mrs. Harvey continue to support Hampton University’s institutional vision and mission by ensuring high quality faculty and staff continue to thrive, to build character, and to help prepare promising students for successful futures. Hampton University truly thanks Dr. and Mrs. Harvey for their kindness, their faithful support, and their selfless generosity.