Hampton University has entered into an agreement with the University of the Bahamas-North to allow its students displaced due to Hurricane Dorian to finish their studies free in Hampton, Virginia. The archipelago nation of the Bahamas was recently devastated by the Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 185 miles per hour. Countless homes and building structures have been destroyed. The confirmed death toll has reached 30 and is expected to increase.
“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,” said Dr. William R. Harvey, president of Hampton University, in a statement.
In addition to offering University of the Bahamas students the ability to attend free classes for the remainder of the fall 2019 semester, the HBCU is also covering room and board for the Bahamian students. After the semester is over, University of Bahamas students will have the option to stay at Hampton University to finish their education at regular tuition and fees.
Lawrence Rigby, a 2015 graduate of Hampton University, is pleased with his school’s empathy and commitment to the Bahamian students.
“Hampton has been the educational choice for many Bahamians over its long history. I am grateful to President Harvey and university leadership on this demonstration of kindness and humanity to my home in our time of need,” said Rigby, 2014-2015 Student Government Association President from Nassau, New Providence. “Young Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama who are looking for the tools to rebuild their lives and our home [and] will find them at Hampton.”
The two universities do have a connection. Before Dr. Rodney Smith became president of the University of the Bahamas, he served as Administrative Vice President and Chief Planning Officer at Hampton.