Hampton University welcomes students from the Bahamas
Ronald E. Carrington | 10/4/2019, 6 a.m.
Hampton University’s drumline raised the roof with crisp cadences as students — victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Ba- hamas — arrived last week at Richmond International Airport to journey to their new academic “home by the sea.”
“The Force,” Hampton’s marching band, joined faculty, staff and administrators to welcome the 46 Bahamian students who will spend the fall semester at Hampton University free of charge.
The arrangement, made by Hampton University President William R. Harvey and University of the Bahamas President Rodney Smith, came in response to the hurricane that devastated parts of the island nation in late August.
Dr. Smith is a former administrative vice president and chief planning officer at Hampton, and welcomed the humanitarian effort to help students. HU is providing free tuition, room and board to the 46 students for the fall semester. Students who want to stay for the spring semester will pay standard tuition and fees, about $25,000 annually.
With the aid of HU’s Office of Admissions and the U.S. Embassy, students were granted expedited visas in order to enter the United States, officials said.
“The heartwarming response we have received from all across the country to our gesture for these students has restored my faith in mankind,” Dr. Harvey said in a statement.
The effort has garnered plenty of support.
Zachary Scott, a HU board member, pledged $100,000 and a series of donors helped to offset the approximate $150,000 international travel cost for the students, officials said. Baha- masair also provided free transportation for the students to get from their campus in Freeport to Nassau for their flight to the United States.