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Students Displaced By Hurricane In Bahamas Begin Classes At HU


Forty-six Bahamian college students displaced from the University of the Bahamas-North campus by Hurricane Dorian arrived this week on the Hampton University campus.

Following the storm’s devastation of the Bahamas in early September, Dr. William Harvey, President of HU,  extended an offer to Dr. Rodney Smith, the President of the University of the Bahamas, to provide free tuition for the fall semester to students displaced from the University of the Bahamas-North. Smith is the former Administrative Vice President and Chief Planning Officer at Hampton University.

Several groups came together to help support Dr. Harvey’s humanitarian offer to cover their tuition, room, board and fees. One of Hampton’s Board members, Zachary Scott pledged $100,000 to this effort. The list of growing monetary donations to help offset the international travel costs for these students now stands at approximately $150,000. 

Bahamasair provided the students free transportation from Freeport, Grand Bahama, where the University of the Bahamas – North campus is located, to Nassau, New Providence. New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, in suburban Atlanta, Ga., in partnership with JetBlue Airways, Head and Heart Philanthropy and Jacmel Partners joined together to provide transportation for the Bahamian students from Nassau, New Providence to Virginia on Monday and Tuesday, September 23 and 24.

The Hampton University Office of the Registrar has placed the students in compatible courses at Hampton University based on cross matching courses between the University of the Bahamas and Hampton University course catalogs.

“This outpouring of humanitarian support has exceeded all expectations,” said Dr. Harvey. “The heartwarming response we have received from all across the country to our gesture for these students has restored my faith in mankind.”

Anyone interested in supporting these students is asked to please contact the Hampton University Office of Development at (757) 727-5002.

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