Hampton University

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Architecture Major Named 2009 HU Model Student

After much deliberation, the winner of the 2009 Hampton University Model Student Competition is Travis Williams, a junior architecture major from Memphis, Tenn. Williams was selected because of his well-rounded nature, approachablepersonality, and ability to play a leadership role in all aspects of his life.


"I'm elated! It's actually quite a gratifying feeling knowing that my time here at HU is being recognized and through this I have the opportunity to affect someone else," said Williams.

A leader both inside and outside the classroom, Williams serves as vice president of the American Institute of American Students (AIAS) at HU and as a student overseer of the Boys to Men program. He is a William R. Harvey Leadership Fellow and was inducted into the National Honor Society in 2006. In addition, he works part-time as a service clerk at Walgreens.

Williams sees the value of giving back to both his hometown and college communities. He helped AIAS raise $1,300 for the Dwelling Place, a local agency that assists families in need of temporary shelter, and assisted in Keeping Norfolk Beautiful Day. He has volunteered for the city of Memphis to distribute Christmas baskets to the less fortunate. In 2008, the city of Memphis honored Williams with a Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding and Meritorious Service.

Williams, who aspires to own his own architecture firm by 30, is concerned about the lack of social contribution from his peers. Williams hopes to be an example to others by proving that you can accomplish your goals while simultaneously helping others.

"I applied for the Model Student Competition because as a college student, and being around my peers, I've noticed how others often focus on themselves. I wanted to show that you can help others and also be successful. You don't have to appear to be better than anyone else," said Williams.

"Mr. Williams demonstrates the intellectual ability, motivation, and fortitude that exemplify a model student at Hampton University," wrote associate professor Shannon Chance in her letter of recommendation. "He is a dynamic individual who has proven that he can balance community service responsibilities with a challenging career path."

Williams joins previous winners Rachel Spivey and Charisma Manley, both seniors.

-Alison Phillips