Hampton U. alumni leader to give Founder’s Day address

By Keeli Howard           

Founder’s Day at Hampton University is an annual tradition amongst Hampton students and alumni alike.

On Sunday, Jan. 29 the annual Hampton University Founder’s Day ceremony will take place in Ogden Hall.

Joan McMillan Wickham, president of the National Hampton Alumni Association, will deliver this year’s keynote address.

As an educator and administrator for 34 years, Wickham’s achievements include the Daughters of Good Citizen Award, National appointee to the Education Foundation of Zeta Phi Beta, and Outstanding 20-year Alumnus Award.

“Joan Wickham is a passionate person,” said Yuri Milligan, director of University Relations, “and Hamptonian many times over.  She has a bachelor’s and two masters from Hampton and is now pursuing a Ph.D, and more importantly, she cares about the university and the students.”

Wickham has traveled around the country to teach academics and music. Her work has expanded her travels outside the country, educating third graders in Ludwigsburg, Germany.

Students around campus promise to eagerly attend Founder’s Day this year.

Sophomore Kevin Boston, a political science major from Chesapeake, Va. said, “I am attending Founder’s Day because I believe it is significant to know the bases of your school.”

Julian Carrington, a Business Management senior from Mclean, Va. said, “It’s important to know where our university comes from in the past and where we are going in the future, as a third-generation Hamptonian and a graduating senior, I’m moving on to bigger things and this ceremony is a great day to pay tribute to where I came from.”

Founder Gen. Samuel Chapman Armstrong will be acknowledged during Sunday’s commemorative wreath placing ceremony at his gravesite. 

Armstrong created a place for African-Americans to receive education and fundamentally to apply education to everyday lives to become well-rounded individuals.

“Armstrong would be exceedingly pleased of what Hampton University has become today,” Milligan said, “ he laid a great foundation in wanting to train teachers and classmen for the African-American community to go out and help others and teach others, and keep the tradition alive.”

This year, Founders Day will carry on the traditions that Hampton University continues to expound upon. From Armstrong to President William R. Harvey, this university strives to keep this home by the seas a standard of excellence.

The writer is a student at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications

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