The world has been rocked by images displaying the devastation to the Bahamas by Hurricane Dorian after it made landfall there last week. Given that the damage has dealt a massive blow to the island’s infrastructure, the HBCU, Hampton University in Virginia, has joined with the University of the Bahamas-North to allow Bahamian students displaced by the hurricane, to finish their studies this semester for free at Hampton.
Given the devastation of the island, and the potential humanitarian crisis, Hampton University president, Dr. William R. Harvey, felt that he absolutely had to do something. “I think this agreement is something that can be helpful to a great number of students and families and is part of something I’ve tried to do my entire career—helping people to achieve and meet their goals,” Harvey said.
As well as generously covering the tuition costs for classes, Hampton will also be offering the Bahamian students free room and board for the remainder of the 2019 Fall semester. Once the current semester ends, the students will have the option to either return to Hampton University to finish their studies all together or return to University of the Bahamas-North.
“Hampton has been the educational choice for many Bahamians over its long history. I am grateful to President Harvey and university leadership on this demonstration of kindness and humanity to my home in our time of need,” said Lawrence Rigby, a 2014-2015 Student Government Association President from Nassau. “Young Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama who are looking for the tools to rebuild their lives and our home [and] will find them at Hampton.”
As of right now, 45 people are reported dead, hundreds of people are still missing, and around 70,000 of the island’s 395,361 residents have been left homeless. On top of that, there are now thousands of people looking for an immediate way off of the island.
HBCUs have been home to thousands of international students over the years and we are sure the students and staff at Hampton University will do everything they can to support and encourage these students displaced by Dorian.
Article by Raz Robinson, journalist and freelance writer, based in New York City and Philadelphia. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter @razrobinson or send an email at Rrob0904 (at) gmail (dot) com.