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Hampton University, a historically black college, offers displaced Hurricane Dorian students a free semester

2019-09-07

Extensive damage and destruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian is seen in Great Abaco, Bahamas. (Gonzalo Gaudenzi/AP)

In an effort to help students and families affected by Hurricane Dorian, Hampton University has forged an agreement with the University of the Bahamas-North to allow students who have were affected by Hurricane Dorian to continue their education on the historically black university’s Virginia campus.

“I think this agreement is something that can be helpful to a great number of students and families and is part of something I’ve tried to do my entire career — helping people to achieve and meet their goals,” Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey said in a statement on Thursday.

Harvey and University of the Bahamas president Dr. Rodney Smith came to this agreement after Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas with high winds and rain for more than two days earlier this week, causing extensive damage and a rising death count.

Smith is the former administrative vice president and chief planning officer at Hampton University.

The pact calls for students from the University of the Bahamas-North to be able to attend classes at Hampton for the fall 2019 semester and receive room and board for one semester for free.

They will have the option to stay at Hampton once the semester is over at regular rates for tuition and fees.

Lawrence Rigby, who graduated from Hampton in 2015, said that “young Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama who are looking for the tools to rebuild their lives and our home will find them at Hampton.”

Related Gallery
Hurricane Dorian makes its way across the Bahamas and U.S.

Founded in 1868, Hampton University ranks among the top three historically black colleges and universities, behind Washington D.C.’s Howard University and Atlanta’s all-female Spelman College.

Two-thirds of the school’s student population are women and 90% of its body identifies as black.

Educator and presidential adviser Booker T. Washington, comedian Wanda Sykes, costume designer Ruth E. Carter and hip-hop personality DJ Envy are among some of Hampton U’s notable alumni.