At a meeting of graduates of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural
Institute, held in Saratoga Springs, NY, on August 20, 1877,
the following preamble and resolutions were adopted:
"As in the providence of God, our alma mater will have
been in successful operation 10 years at the close of this
session. As it is the custom of the graduates of well established
schools and colleges to assemble within the walls of their
alma mater, we think it will be fitting to hold a reunion,
in the decennial year, composed of all the graduates or as
many as can make it convenient at this time, for the purpose
of forming the Alumni Association of the Hampton Normal and
Agricultural Institute. Therefore be it resolved:
there be a letter published in the "Southern Workman" for
March inviting the graduates of different classes to attend
such a reunion;
the Committee of Arrangements be composed a lady and gentleman
from each class."
One hundred years ago, the above quotation was indeed a part
of the Original Constitution of the Hampton Alumni Association.
The writing of this document was one of the preliminary steps
leading to the origin of the Association. Its pre-planning and
final organization were carefully guided by the following farsighted
alumni: David Evans, 1875; George W. Davis, 1874; L. B. Phillips,
1874; R. B. Jackson, 1876; W. T. Greenhow, 1874; W. L. Coleman,
1877; G. W. Latimer, 1871; A. M. Hamilton, 1877; A. W. McAdoo,
Secretary, 1876; N. B. Clark, Chairman, 1877.
The Hampton Alumni Association was partially organized in May
1878. George W. Davis, 1874, was elected the first president
and Alice S. Harris, 1877, became the organization's first secretary.
In May 1881, at the first triennial meeting, the Association
was fully organized and a constitution, including the opening
quotation and provision for triennial meetings, were adopted.
As this first 1881 meeting, the following officers were elected:
President Booker T. Washington, 1875
Secretary William H. Diggs, 1878
Corresponding Secretary William M. Reid, 1876
The original constitution provided for triennial reunions. In
1925, the beginning of biennial reunions were adopted, followed
by annual reunions which began in June, 1942. With the strong
belief that the Association could better serve itself and its
alma mater, the Association became Incorporated on May 7, 1986
under the 1950 Code of Virginia, with its registered office being
the Office Of Alumni Affairs, Hampton University. The purposes
are exclusively charitable and educational and are stated in
the 1986 Official Charter and amended By-Laws of 1993. Specifically,
the purposes of the National Hampton Alumni Association, Inc. are to raise monies for Hampton
University, to recruit students to attend Hampton University,
to propose and manage an annual program budget, and to work cooperatively
with University personnel in order to develop and implement programs
that will benefit Hampton and the National Hampton Alumni
The Association sought and obtained a more intimate relationship
with the University in reference to its policies. A quote from
the "Southern Workman" in July, 1923, states that, "It (the Alumni
Association) requested the appointment of a colored man on the
Board of Trustees, which resulted in the selection of Robert
R. Moton, Class of 1890, for that position." Dr. Flemmie P. Kittrell
was the first Black female to be elected to the Board of Trustees.
She was elected as an Alumni Trustee in 1945. James "Babe" Henderson
was the first alumnus elected to that position in the mid 1970's.
Presently, there are twelve alumni on Hampton University's Board
Further quoting from the July, 1923 "Southern Workman", Dr.
James E. Gregg (then principal in 1920) suggested that the Association
appoint a committee of visitation. "This committee was appointed
at the 1920 meeting and was charged with the duty of visiting
the Institute at least once a year for the purpose of observing
methods and making constructive suggestions based upon experience
and a real knowledge of existing conditions which the alumni
have to deal." This tradition continues today with joint meetings
between the Hampton University Administrative Council and the National
Hampton Alumni Association, Inc.'s Board of Directors.
Also during Dr. Gregg's administration, Hampton alumni published
a quarterly journal. The journal was a medium of communication
which enabled the alumni organization to concentrate its power
on accomplishing the following objectives: to bind and continue
the friendly ties formed during school days, to inform each other
of the other's work; and to comfort those laboring in lonely
places. Faculty members and graduates wrote articles. In addition,
the Journal carried articles on outstanding citizens connected
During the one hundred and twenty-one year history, the Hampton
Alumni Association (now the National Hampton Alumni Association,
Inc.) has pushed forward
with momentum and direction designed to create in Hampton alumni
an abiding sense of personal commitment and individual responsibility
for the life and growth of Hampton Institute/University. The
Association has operated in a spirit of family togetherness with
other sectors of the University to insure its effective involvement
in recruitment, fundraising, image enhancement and other activities
of concern for the welfare of our alma mater. The Association
has continued to function with strong alumni leadership and with
an unbroken line of 24 presidents spanning the years 1878 to
1999. Under the banner of leadership, these presidents were blessed
with the support of a viable Association that has kept the concerns
of the University as top priority.
Through each decade the Association has continued to focus on student recruitment,
fundraising, membership expansion and, more recently, technological innovations.
Selected events occurring through these decades to address goals, issues and
- The Alumni Loan Fund ($5,000), established in 1935, providing
loans with no interest charges to students
- The first Hampton Alumni Award, presented to Miss Dorothy
Maynor (1933), celebrated soprano, in 1941
- The founding of the Hampton Institute Parent Involvement
Organization in 1965 by Julia Macbeth Green (1943)
- The founding of the Hampton Boosters in the mid 1960's by
Robert Anderson (1940)
- Dr. W. Adrian Freeman's promoting the 1966 Alumni Campaign
Fund as a part of the Centennial Fund Campaign to raise $18,000.00
in celebration of Hampton's 100th birthday in 1968
- NHAA, Inc. History
- Anne Laura Roberts Wims was a "Gold Medalist" in the Council
for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) "Volunteer
of the Year Award". This was a first for any predominately
Black member institution of CASE (1987)
- Alumni contributions of more than $1 million to Hampton University
through the Alumni Giving Campaigns of 1996-97, '97-'99 and
- The inclusion of the National Hampton Alumni Association,
Inc. on the "world-wide
To support the concept that fundraising has from the beginning
been a major goal of NHAA, Inc.,
we quote from the minutes of the Triennial Alumni Meeting, 1881: "On
motion it was decided to raise a fund to be devoted to the benefit
of a student in Hampton." This was the beginning of
the idea of raising money to aid students. The idea rapidly grew
and expanded into the plan to raise permanent scholarships and
funds for other aspects of Hampton's program. In the last two
decades Alumni Endowed Scholarships have rapidly increased and
the Alumni Association completed its $5 million Endowed Scholarship
Campaign presenting a check for that amount to the University
President at the January 1999 meeting of the NHAA, Inc. Board of Directors.
of the National Hampton Alumni Association,
which involved incorporation, reflected a new era of the Association.
The change produced a more inclusive structure with a President,
Board of Directors, Alumni Council, Regions, Chapters and the
accommodation of Professional Associations, all of which have
evolved into the current organizational structure of the Association.
The Association consists of seven regions and 104 chapters (74
active) with emphasis on chapter development and revitalization
a continuing focus.
To provide the opportunity for Hamptonians to perpetuate their
reunions beyond the 50th year, the Emeritus Class was founded
and organized in 1974. The class was organized under the guidance
of Alphonso Knight (1947) and Dr. W. Adrian Freeman (1922) was
the first president. In 1999, under the leadership of Dr. Gladys
Hope Franklin White, president, the Emeritus Class contributed
in excess of $350,000.00 in alumni giving and in 2000, the Emeritus
Class exceeded that number with $516, 295.48.
The National Hampton Alumni Association, Inc. and Hampton University continue their historical
partnership. The University is known by its products - the
Alumni. In support of the University, the Alumni and their
Association, the National Hampton Alumni Association,
Inc., provide supportive services
such as recruitment, student scholarships, special sponsorship
of college groups in respective areas, organization and guidance
of parent groups, consulting with University officials, and
representing the University at various official ceremonies.
Furthering the programs of the Association and providing an
opportunity for more alumni to become involved in the business
of the Association, to network professionally and socially and
to learn through information sharing and training, the first
biennial convention of NHAA, Inc. was
held July 1994 in Dedham, MA. The second convention convened
in San Antonio, TX in August 1996, the third in Crystal City,
VA in 1998 and the fourth convention was held in San Diego, CA
The responsibility for the continued welfare of our alma mater
rests in a very large measure upon the shoulders of alumni today.
Our challenge is urgent and irresistible. Alumni involvement
must become more in-depth, more serious, and more self-sacrificing.
Working in close unity with the trustees, administration and
faculty must continue to be a reality. To this end, unity and
action must take on special and meaningful significance to all
segments of the Hampton family ensuring that the legacy continues.
Quoting our founder, General Samuel Chapman Armstrong, "Hampton
must not go down! Hampton must not go down!"