Dr. William R. Harvey is President of Hampton University and 100% owner
of the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Houghton, Michigan. Since 1978,
he has served with distinction as President of Hampton University and
created a monumental legacy during his thirty year tenure—one of
the longest tenures of any sitting president of a college or university
in the country. Dr. Harvey is described as “one of the most focused
individuals that one can meet. He is relentlessly single-minded” when
it comes to the advancement of the University. During the time that he
has served at the helm, Dr. Harvey has made countless contributions to
the University, our state and the nation. Few individuals have demonstrated
the dedication to education and service that Dr. Harvey has demonstrated
throughout his distinguished career.
A native of Brewton, Alabama, he is a graduate of Southern Normal High
School and Talladega College. After graduating from Talladega College,
Dr. Harvey served three years on active duty with the United States Army.
During that time, he saw duty in Europe and in the United States. He is
currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve. Dr. Harvey earned
his doctorate in College Administration from Harvard University in 1972.
Prior to assuming his current position, he served as Assistant for Governmental
Affairs to the Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University;
Administrative Assistant to the President at Fisk University; and as Administrative
Vice President at Tuskegee University.
Since being named President, Dr. William R. Harvey has introduced innovations,
which have solidified Hampton University’s stellar position among
the nation’s colleges and universities. His innovative leadership
is reflected in the growth and quality of the University’s student
population, academic programs, physical facilities, and financial base.
During Dr. Harvey’s tenure as President, the student enrollment
at Hampton University has increased from approximately 2,700 students
to over 6,300. Moreover, the average SAT score of entering freshmen has
increased approximately 300 points!
His commitment to expansion and innovation in academic programs has
resulted in 76 new academic programs being implemented under his watch.
Some of these new thrusts include undergraduate programs in Computer Science,
Marine Science, Entrepreneurship, Chemical, Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Airway Science, Emergency Medical Assistance Management; graduate programs
in Business Administration (MBA), Applied Mathematics; and doctoral degrees
in Physics, Pharmacy, Atmospheric and Planetary Science, Nursing and Physical
Therapy. Dr. Harvey promotes a learning environment that encourages faculty
research rivaling that of major research universities across the nation.
Hampton University is in the process of building the first proton therapy
cancer treatment center in the Commonwealth of Virginia—an unparalleled
hub for cancer treatment, research, and technology. Weather satellites
have been launched to study noctilucent clouds to determine why they form
and how they may be related to global climate change. From Alzheimer’s
research and alternative fuels to nanodevices combining diagnostic and
therapeutic functions for early diagnosis and treatment of arthritis,
under the competent leadership of President Harvey, Hampton University
is poised to become a leader in research and technology not only in the
Hampton Roads area and Virginia, but nationwide. These new programs, together
with existing ones, have placed and kept Hampton on the cutting edge of
Dr. Harvey is the visionary and leader behind
numerous community and educational initiatives. In 1994, he chaired the
Virginia Peninsula United Way Campaign. He was the first African-American
to head the organization's annual drive and raised a record setting $6.6
million. Dr. Harvey chaired the annual fundraising dinner for the National
Conference of Christians and Jews and was the first guest host at the
Celebrity Luncheon for the Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Red Cross.
A Star Scout as a young boy, he endowed an outstanding leadership award
and leadership forum for the Colonial Virginia Council of the Boy Scouts
of America. Dr. Harvey continued to share his treasure with the Peninsula
community when he and Mrs. Harvey endowed a $1,000,000 scholarship in
honor of his father for students from Hampton and Newport News who aspire
to be teachers.
He also implemented programs to help stop juvenile delinquency, truancy
and illiteracy. In 1992, Dr. Harvey initiated the Job Education Training
(JET) Corps, a program modeled after the 1930's Civilian Conservation
Corps. Students from the school districts of Hampton, Newport News, James
City County and Williamsburg, Virginia were selected to participate in
the program which emphasized the academic skills of math, communication,
reading and health in the mornings. In the afternoons, they were taken
to public work sites to labor on a job which paid minimum wages for 40
hours per week. During the eight-week course, the program emphasized character
building, values, discipline and work ethics. In 1989, Dr. Harvey instituted
project H.O.P.E. (Hampton's Opportunity Program for Enhancement), which
admits African-American males into Hampton who have potential for college,
but do not meet the full academic requirements needed to matriculate at
the University. Participants are given a reduced course load, assigned
a coordinator who monitors their social and academic progression, and
each receives a $1,000 scholarship.
For Dr. Harvey, enhancing the University’s physical facilities
has been an integral part of his determination to create a physical environment
conducive to learning and living. Therefore, during his presidency, the
University has erected 18 new buildings and has spent some $50,000,000
on the renovation of existing facilities.
An astute businessman, Dr. Harvey applied his business acumen to the
needs of Hampton University when he initiated a University-owned commercial
development consisting of a shopping center and 246 two-bedroom apartments.
All after-tax profits from the Hampton Harbor Project are primarily utilized
for student scholarships. Additionally, the Project creates jobs, provides
services, increases the number of African-American entrepreneurs, and
expands the tax base in the City of Hampton. The proton cancer treatment
center will be an improved health care facility that will not only ease
human suffering and save lives, but will also be an economic driver for
the university, the region and the state. It will provide new highly skilled
jobs for the Hampton Roads area and increase the local lodging, entertainment,
and tourism consumer base.
Dr. Harvey’s financial leadership is indicated in the financial
growth and stability Hampton has achieved during his thirty years as President.
The University has balanced its budget and achieved a surplus during each
of those years. The endowment, which stood at $29 million when he became
President, now exceeds $250 million. The University’s first capital
fundraising campaign in 1979 had a goal of $30,000,000. That campaign
raised $46.4 million. The most recent campaign had a goal of $200 million
and raised $264 million.
In sum, Dr. Harvey has transformed Hampton University from a small
black college to a world-class leader in the field of higher education.
Today, the University boasts a number of distinctions that set it apart
from other mid-sized institutions in the nation. Students are afforded
the unique opportunities to engage in an equestrian program and/or to
join the sailing team. Faculty are poised at the leading edge of discovery
with patents on such items as a breast cancer detection device and prosthesis
for artificial limbs. Recently, Hampton University was one of only four
institutions in the nation to compete for and win the distinction of serving
as a National Physics Frontier Center. In 2003, the University secured
a $92 million dollar grant to launch weather satellites into orbit—making
it the first HBCU to be solely responsible for a major NASA mission. Also,
in 2003, a $12 million contract was won by the University to provided
4.5 million textbooks and supplemental materials to African countries.
Hampton University is a world-class institution because of the vision
of its chief executive officer.
Along with his duties as President, the corporate boards that Dr. Harvey
serves on, or has served on, are Fannie Mae, Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield,
Signet Bank, Newport News Shipbuilding, Wachovia Bank (Mid-Atlantic Region),
Newport News Savings Bank, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Houghton, Michigan,
National Merit Scholarship Corporation, and the Harvard Cooperative Society.
He is a member of Virginia Association of Higher Education, Peninsula
Chamber of Commerce, Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia, and
the Omega Psi Phi and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities.
Dr. Harvey has long been active on the national scene as a result of
his appointments to national boards by six presidents of the United States.
He has served on the President’s National Advisory Council on Elementary
and Secondary Education, the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the
Service, the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education where
he served as Chair, the Commission on Presidential Scholars, the President’s
Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges, and the U. S. Department
of Commerce Minority Development Advisory Board. Additionally, Dr. Harvey
has served as Chair of the Southern Universities Research Association
(SURA) Council of Presidents, Chair of the Board of the National Association
for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), and Chair of the Mid-Eastern
Athletic Conference (MEAC) Council of Chief Executive Officers.
Dr. Harvey’s achievements have been recognized through inclusion
of Personalities of the South, Who’s Who in the South and Southeast,
Who’s Who in Black America, Who’s Who in American Education,
International Who’s Who of Intellectuals, Two Thousand Notable Americans,
Who’s Who in Business and Finance, and Who’s Who in America.
Dr. Harvey is married to the former Norma Baker of Martinsville, Virginia,
and they have three children—Kelly Renee, William Christopher, and
Leslie Denise—and three grandchildren, Taylor, Gabrielle and Lauren.