HAMPTON, Va. – The Hampton University family is mourning the loss of alumna Dr. Gladys Hope Franklin White, Class of 1939, who passed away in her home on November 7, 2018. Dr. White was one of Hampton University’s most notable and influential alumna who positively impacted the entire campus. As she always said, she let her life do the singing, and she truly did. Her legacy will live on here at Hampton University.
“It is with sadness that I learned of Dr. Gladys Hope Franklin White’s passing,” said Dr. William R. Harvey, Hampton University President. “She was a wonderful, caring, loyal and supportive Hamptonian. During my 41 years as President, she and I have had many long and productive conversations together. She was one of the most loyal, positive and loving alumna whoever walked this earth. I shall miss her immensely.”
A native of Elizabeth City, N.C., White was born on March 22, 1916 and later attended Hampton Institute, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and supervision. She later pursued her graduate degree at Columbia University where she was awarded the Master of Arts degree in curriculum, teaching, and reading. She also received her Doctorate of Education in reading education from the University of Sarasota.
White worked tirelessly as an educator for many years. After her retirement from North Carolina A&T State University, she founded Project CARE – Coaching Accelerates Rich Excellence. Designed as the city’s first community church SAT/ACT Test Prep project, Project CARE has rendered invaluable assistance netting students scholarships and awards to colleges of their choice. Her distinguished career as an accomplished educator and administrator included over 50 years of experience across all levels.
A true Hamptonian, Dr. White believed that Hampton’s “ideals,precepts and standards were the guiding lights enriching her pursuit of academics, culture, and success.” With this in mind, she selflessly serves her alma mater well. She is the name sake for Gladys Hope Franklin White Hall on our campus and was an active member of the National Hampton Alumni Association (NHAA), Inc. Board. She also served as the Emeritus Class Leader. In this leadership role, she coordinated efforts that led to the raising of millions of dollars from alumni members of the Emeritus Class.
Passionate about her community and education, Dr. White was a lifetime member of several organizations, including the National Educations Association, the International Reading Association and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
In 2014, Dr. White received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame ceremony in Atlanta. Hall of Fame honorees are black college graduates who through work, participation or support, have brought honor and recognition to their alma mater, their profession and their community. They are held in high esteem by their peers, and are deemed to be of high moral character and outstanding integrity. That description fit Dr. White perfectly.
In 2015 Dr. White was honored by Dr. William R. Harvey with the Presidential Citizenship Award recognizing her as a positive role model for others and who, through her service to her community, contributed to the values of decency, dignity, and improvement in the quality of life for others.
White is preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Frank H. White, graduate of Hampton University and the former dean of North Carolina A&T State University College of Arts and Sciences; and by her daughter, Dr. Sharon White Williams, associate professor at Hampton University. She is survived by her daughter, Hampton graduate, The Honorable Johnese White Howard, two granddaughters, who are both Hamptonians, one grandson and many other family and friends.