Hampton University offers free semester to displaced University of Bahamas students

Rosa Parks is one of 11 statues in Hampton University's Legacy Park which was revealed as part of the university's annual Founders Day celebration (WYDaily Photo/ Courtesy of Hampton University)
Rosa Parks is one of 11 statues in Hampton University’s Legacy Park which was revealed as part of the university’s annual Founders Day celebration. (Southside Daily Photo/ Courtesy of Hampton University)

Hampton University is letting University of Bahamas students affected by Hurricane Dorian to continue their college education in the states.

Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, destroying homes and affecting thousands of residents.

“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 William R. Harvey, president of Hampton University.

Harvey and Rodney Smith, president of the University of Bahamas and former administrative vice president and chief planning officer at Hampton University, came to this agreement after Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas with high winds and rain for more than two days, causing extensive damage and several deaths, according to the university’s news release.

Students will be able to attend classes and receive room and board for the fall semester, according to the university’s news release.

In addition, once the fall semester ends, students will have the option to stay at Hampton University and pay regular tuition rates.

“Hampton has been the educational choice for many Bahamians over its long history,” said Lawrence Rigby ’15, who is from Nassau, New Providence and served as Student Government Association president from 2014-2015. “I am grateful to President Harvey and university leadership on this demonstration of kindness and humanity to my home in our time of need.”

“Young Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama who are looking for the tools to rebuild their lives and our home will find them at Hampton,” Rigby added.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.