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HU Circle of Nations is the New Focal Point of Campus

The newest addition to Hampton University's campus is now completed. The circle of grass in front of Robert C. Ogden Auditorium is now surrounded by 24 flags, which represent the countries of currently enrolled undergraduate students. The flags of the United States of America and Hampton University are located in the middle of what is now called the Circle of Nations.

"Hampton University's founder, Gen. Samuel Chapman Armstrong, was a proponent of worldliness and was quoted as saying 'Hampton University's students girdled the world. The Circle of Nations is another example of the worldliness of the students enrolled at Hampton," said HU President Dr. William R. Harvey.

Hampton University students are excited about the Circle of Nations. Students from all over the world walk around the Circle and take pictures by the flag of their native country or the native country of their parents and grandparents. .

"It is great to see the Trinidadian flag around Ogden. It is empowering to see that HU is acknowledging our heritage, not solely where we live, but where we come from," said Tisanya Simmons, a senior psychology major of Trinidadian descent from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Many of the international students feel a sense of pride when they see their flag blowing in the wind on campus. "I like the idea of the school representing the international students. I am always proud to see the Brazilian flag," said Joao Sacomandi, a senior business management major from Brazil.

Omari Scott, a senior sports management major from Antigua, W.I., believes that the flags symbolize that while the students at Hampton are from all over the world, they are here at Hampton working together. "I think it is good for others to see the different countries and islands represented at Hampton University. It is good for people from America to see that we are here representing the school too."

HU students stand proudly in front of the flags of their native country.

The Circle of Nations surrounds a very important grassy area. Robert C. Ogden Auditorium, also known as Ogden Hall, is named after philanthropist Robert Curtis Ogden who served as president of the Hampton Institute Board of Trustees from 1894-1913. Ogden Hall was built with an approximate cost of $200,000 funded by private donors and the Friends of Robert C. Ogden. The building was renovated in fall 2005 and still remains widely known for being one of the premier acoustical settings on the East Coast. The building and the circle of grass, or Ogden Circle, were completed in 1918.

In addition to the flags, the concrete border around the Circle has been replaced with brick pavers. The steam line that formerly ran underneath the Circle has been rerouted to keep the grass from being damaged. Now students and alumni will enjoy this new addition to the campus.

"The Circle of Nations is a magnificent addition to our campus. It represents the diversity of our student body and to me symbolizes the 'coming together' of all of God's children as a part of the Hampton Family. The Circle of Nations is yet another example of the depth of Dr. Harvey's visionary skills," said HU Vice President and General Counsel Faye Hardy-Lucas, a member of the HU Class of 1982.


-Yuri Rodgers Milligan