FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2003 @ 7:00 P.M.
DR. WILLIAM R. HARVEY
Thank you very much, Trustee Jones. Let me also thank all who
have publicly offered their tributes as well as the many who have
privately done so. I
have a lot of people to thank, so bear with me.
First of all, let me thank God for the many, many blessings that
he has so abundantly bestowed upon my family and me. I was taught
at an early age that a spiritual grounding was important. When
the taproot of spiritual vigor is out, then the plant withers and
Secondly, let me thank my parents, both departed, for their love,
guidance, and role modeling. For the thousands of lessons that
they taught my sister and me, I want to say to you tonight that
they—my parents—were simply the best!
I want to thank my wife who came into my life 37 years ago. As
I’ve said so many times in the past and I want to say it
again tonight—without her, I am nothing. She is the straw
that stirs my drink.
To my children—Kelly, Chris, and Leslie—I want to
tell you how extremely proud we are of you. You have and are maturing
into wonderful, productive, caring human beings and when it’s
all said and done, your mother and I could not ask for anything
To Valerie, you are a welcome addition to our family. And to little
Taylor, I Love You more than life itself.
Thanks to my sister Anne, who came to this event tonight from
Atlanta. I must tell you that our parents taught her well, for
she had the very good sense to send her daughter to Hampton.
To my friends, and time won’t permit me to call each of
you by name, but I thank you for your friendship.
To the thousands of students who have come under my charge during
the last 25-years, my thanks to you. Without you, there would be
no Hampton University. You continue to inspire me. And as I said
at Founder’s Day, I Love You MADLY!
A special thanks to my colleagues on the faculty. This community
of scholars who takes a personal interest in the individual lives
of our students cannot be beat. Your accomplishments measure well
with faculty at any institution in the country.
To those administrative leaders and staff who labor long and hard
for Hampton University, I owe you debt of gratitude. There is no
way that we could have accomplished all that we have accomplished
over the last 25-years without that wonderful team. But further
than that, the workers on the grounds, vehicle services, the housekeeping
staff, the cafeteria personnel, the secretarial and fiscal staffs,
all have contributed to making Hampton among the best.
My sincere appreciation and a special thanks go to the alumni
with whom I have a special bond. Early on, I recognized that Hampton
graduates were special. They took seriously their legacy of respect
for knowledge, hard work, and service to others. Alumni have been
enormously helpful—both personally and professionally. They
have been one of my sources of strength and inspiration. In good
times and bad, they have always been there. Thank you for accepting
the Harveys as Hamptonians.
Let me also thank my Board for the opportunity that they gave
me and continue to give me to provide leadership for Hampton University
and the wider community. I am truly grateful for their leadership,
oversight, stewardship, guidance, counsel, and support.
Let me now offer general thanks to the many in corporate and foundation
America; local, state and federal governments; individuals, and
the general public for your help and support. You have taken ownership
in our vision, and for that I am grateful.
Now, as I sure all of you know, I plan to take a sabbatical next
year to do some writing. Please know, however, that after the sabbatical,
if it is the Lord’s willing, I shall return with a vigor
to continue the mighty and wonderful progress that Hampton University
is making. I look forward to the sabbatical and I look forward
to my return. Let’s get on with it!