Education 2023: LT. GEN. DARRELL K. WILLIAMS (U.S. ARMY, RET.)
PRESIDENT, HAMPTON UNIVERSITY, HAMPTON
When Williams was a freshman at Hampton University in 1979, the school’s president was William R. Harvey — who retired last year after 44 years leading the private historically Black university. That’s a tough act to follow, but Williams, who became HU’s 13th president in July 2022, has an impressive résumé of his own.
A retired Army lieutenant general, Williams was the first Black director of the Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency and later served as vice president for Leidos’ U.K. operations. He received master’s degrees from Penn State, the Army Command and General Staff College, and the National War College. The recipient of a Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit, Williams also led the Fort Lee Army post and the Army Combined Arms Support Command.
Williams is the founding board chair for the Mary S. Peake Fellowship, an organization providing recent college graduates, veterans and military spouses with workforce leadership training. A 19th-century Black educator, Peake taught enslaved people in Hampton to read, which was illegal in Virginia before the Civil War.
Founded in 1868, Hampton University had 3,244 students enrolled in fall 2022.