U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, delivers commencement address at Hampton University

Hampton Univ 2013 Joi Pearson Photography_-11 copy

The rain was coming down pretty hard on Sunday, May 12, 2013, hours before the commencement ceremony’s start and then with about 15 minutes to go, the the clouds cleared, and the sun started to shine. It was still drizzling when Dr. William R. Harvey, president of Hampton University, started the processional onto the field at Armstrong Stadium but by the time he reached the stage, the rain stopped. Harvey joked about still being in communication with “The Weather Man.” The energy was intense and the graduates were truly excited, the rain was not going to stop this show and that was apparent!

The university’s 143rd commencement speaker was U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, who received an honorary Doctor of Science degree. She spoke about dignity and that we need to be careful not to take it away from people. She quoted stats, saying Hampton is the fourth HBCU in ranking and mentioned that Hampton University sent The AIM satellite into space to study climate change. She finished by reminding graduates that it is their duty to take the education received and serve their fellow men and women and to know that they have support from their alma mater, facility, staff, etc., no matter where they go.


President Harvey ended the ceremony with the charge to be positive roles models, to be leaders in your respected fields. He urged them to do several other things: 1. Pay yourself first 2. Buy some property 3. And two evils in society — racism and drugs — avoid both.

Hampton University 2013 graduates and members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Hampton University 2013 graduates and members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

I truly enjoyed capturing the Mother’s Day event. It was an eye-opening experience, knowing I graduated from Hampton University over 12 years ago and I haven’t stepped onto Armstrong Field since then. It was a joyous day then and a joyous day today, knowing I continue to serve them through my chosen profession. I love my Hampton University, the “REAL HU!”


joi pearson

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