Update (September 24, 2019): It's been a few weeks since Hurricane Dorian destroyed parts of the Bahamas, killing hundreds and displacing many families and students. Now, Hampton University is opening its doors to students from the University of Bahamas.
Students arrived at the Richmond International Airport Monday night with bags in hand, ready to continue their studies at the historically Black university.
According to WRIC, faculty, staff, members of the marching band, cheerleaders and other student leaders greeted 46 students from Nassau.
Hampton University's Office of Admissions and the U.S. Embassy are working together to assist the students during their transition.
The agreement between the university and embassy offers students free enrollment, room and board and "compatible courses" to their studies back home.
The college students were provided with expedited student visas, granting them entry into the country.
“This outpouring of humanitarian support has exceeded all expectations,” said Dr. William R. Harvey, president of Hampton University. “The heartwarming response we have received from all across the country to our gesture for these students has restored my faith in mankind.”
Students will be allowed to remain on the campus of Hampton University at the conclusion of the semester “at regular rates for tuition,” according to a release from the university.
Original: Hampton University has joined a growing list of supporters reaching out to help Hurricane Dorian victims.
On Thursday, the Virginia-based HBCU announced on their website that they’ve teamed up with the University of the Bahamas to allow displaced students to continue their education on the school's campus.The new effort comes as the death toll in the Bahamas continues to climb after Hurricane Dorian first made landfall earlier this week. At least 30 people have reportedly died, according to NBC News.
“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,” Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey said.
In addition to the opportunity for students to attend classes at Hampton for the upcoming fall 2019 semester, they'll also receive room and board for one semester.
"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,” Hampton University alum Lawrence Rigby said.
The university’s initiative follows a number of celebrities pledging to help the Bahamas. Grammy award-winning artist and Barbados native, Rihanna, spoke out about helping on Twitter. In her message, she said that seeing the devastation “breaks [her] heart.”
It truly breaks my heart to see the complete devastation that #HurricaneDorian is having on the Bahamas!— Rihanna (@rihanna) September 2, 2019
On Tuesday, rapper Ludacris shared on Instagram that he’s donating $100,000 to victims in the Bahamas. He raised the funds during a Labor Day weekend event hosted by The Luda Foundation.
View this post on Instagram
Over 100k Raised over The Weekend!! THANK YOU TO ALL WHO SHOWED UP AND SHOWED OUT!! 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 NOW WATCH ME WORK!! #givingback @ludacrisfdtn #ludadayweekend2019 Thank you to the Prtners #Freshempire #Slimandhuskys #Hennessy #Zaxbys(John Silvey) #Pepsi #BrandJordan #ATLSkypointe #JezebelMagazine #WishATL #IntercontinentalBuckhead #MercedesBenz
Royal Caribbean and The Walt Disney Company are among the companies who’ve also offered relief to the island, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Both companies have pledged to donate $1 million.