Hampton University

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My Experience at this Year's Opening Convocation

Hammond Nicquita Reed and her mother pose after the ceremony.

This was such a refreshing day. Everyone looked so happy, so excited, and so inspired. I walked to Ogden Hall in my cap and gown passing many of my classmates, some that I knew, and some I’ve probably never seen before. I posed for about fifteen pictures for my mom before I could even walk up the steps and finally make it to the main event.

As I arrived in Ogden, there they were, the class of 2010 as a whole. You saw no attitudes, no judging, and no hierarchy, we were all uniform. We spent the first hour giving hugs and taking photos, trying to make each moment another entry in our memory books of senior year. The next hour or so was spent in our chairs as we listened to the many words of encouragement our speakers shared with us.

Senior Class President Christian Cheairs had us all on our toes as he gave his exuberant speech to the audience. Listening to him had me feeling like the long journey had been completed. “We came, we saw, and we conquered,” he said, but not quite yet… 224 more days to go! The Quintessence VII class cheered fanatically as he ended his speech in a harmonious roar.

Our guest speaker, Director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs Dr. John Silvanus Wilson Jr., also gave a surprisingly, non-boring speech.  The only thing I’ve heard about Opening Convocation was how long, and how boring the ceremony is. A last-year graduate even told me that he didn’t remember anything about the speaker or not too much about the ceremony in general. How is this possible?


This was a very exciting event for me. Dr. Wilson, along with the other panel speakers, shared inspiring words and directions for us to follow. “Make ambition, innovation, and compassion apart of your heritage, and not just your history,” he said, suggesting that we take advantage of all our resources at Hampton and make the best of our last year at our “Home by the Sea.”

I left the ceremony with a new goal in mind. I will be ambitious, innovative, and compassionate enough to conquer the Hamptonian challenge on May 9, 2010. My name will be moved from the back to the front of the program under the group with 3.5 G.P.A.s and above. I can’t wait to wipe the tear from my mother’s eye, as I give her the gift of her dreams on Mother’s Day 2010 - my diploma.

-Nicquita Reed