Price was right for HU Founder’s Day speaker

By Heather Robinson

Hampton University was built around the permanence of strong character; with hard work and discipline anyone can achieve success.  Both words of wisdom, and people filled Ogden Hall as Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price commenced with his Founder’s Day speech.

He engaged the audience with light-hearted humor that was relatable to student life.  He exhumed aspects of HU’s history to convey how knowing the past propels you forward.

For a man who is also a Doctor of Dentistry, getting his message across was far from pulling teeth.

As a community activist Price has won honors that include the Presidential Humanitarian Award, the Presidential Citizenship award, and the Honored Black Family award. His genuine energies within the community have him giving back to the “Hamptonian” legacy.

Price repeated a quote by Mya Angelou, “You can’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands.  You have to throw back.”

Being ready to catch whatever life has in store comes from a history of building strong character, Price. It is the responsibility of “Hamptonians” to continue this legacy and sculpt tomorrow’s potential leaders.   Students and facility of HU are approaching an era of enlightenment that encompasses a special kind of pride, which will continue far into the future.

The founder of Hampton Institute [and now University], Gen. Samuel Chapman Armstrong set forth a legacy derived from a vision of permanence.  Armstrong’s goal was to instill character in students, so that in life they would have the tools to be successful. Because Price is a 1971 HU graduate, he inherited this legacy, and shows his success through service.

The legacy of HU has been carried on various presidents and deans, and 143 years later is leading and pioneering the treatment of cancer.  University President William R. Harvey has turned this campus into a world-class leader of education; a place where the first black U.S. President came and delivered the commencement speech for the graduating class of 2010.

Price concluded his speech by challenging the audience to continue the legacy set forth by General Armstrong.  With a standing ovation, he warmed the hearts and spirits of those in attendance.

“I think he related to the audience,” said freshman Mariah Bellamy, “and found a way to get his point across without boring everyone.”