Living Legends: WILLIAM R. HARVEY
RETIRED PRESIDENT, HAMPTON UNIVERSITY, HAMPTON
Harvey is a higher education icon, having retired in June after 43 years as president of Hampton University. His work since arriving at what was Hampton Institute in 1978
transformed the campus, raising its profile and strengthening its academic standing. The university’s endowment grew from $29 million to more than $400 million during
A graduate of Talladega College and Virginia State University, Harvey earned his doctorate from Harvard University in 1972. He also served in the U.S. Army and owns a Pepsi bottling plant in Michigan.
One of his many projects at the historically Black university was the launch of Virginia’s first proton-therapy institute to treat cancer patients. In 2020, Hampton received its largest-ever donation, a $30 million gift from billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon.com Inc. founder and Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos.
In retirement, Harvey has said he’d like to explore the development of a slavery museum. The author of several books, he also told The Daily Press that he plans to write a memoir, “The Journey Was the Reward.” In June, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin appointed Harvey to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.