Hampton, Va. – Hampton University welcomes Dr. JoAnn Haysbert, executive vice president at Hampton University, as the speaker for the 69th Annual Opening Convocation on Sunday, Sept. 25. The recipients of the Hampton University Edward L. Hamm, Sr. teaching award; Wayne Dawkins, assistant professor in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications and Dr. Godson Nwokogu, professor in the Department of Chemistry, will also be recognized at the ceremony.

Opening Convocation will be held in Ogden Hall and will begin at 10:45 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Haysbert returned to Hampton University this semester after spending 6 years as president of Langston University. As Langston University’s fifteenth and first female president, Haysbert set into motion an aggressive agenda that expanded and strengthened the academic programs, galvanized the faculty, invigorated active participation among alumni, broadened the external donor base, increased financial support, improved the physical plant, embraced a broader commitment to shared governance, created a safer, access-controlled campus, and placed the university in the best fiscal standing in more than two decades by eliminating a multi-million-dollar operating deficit. Further, the University took the first steps in an unprecedented move to transform Langston City into a “true college town.” Under Haysbert’s guidance, a 10-year strategic plan – the first in the University’s history— was created and now serves as the road map that will take Langston University “from excellence to greatness,” Haysbert’s inaugural mantra. The plan was developed to augment efforts to change the ethos of Langston University. Under her leadership, the campus environment morphed into a coherent, shared organizational culture in which all members of the community of scholars understood the missions, goals and values of the institution.

Before her presidency at Langston, Haysbert had a 25-year tenure at Hampton University, where she served in several key positions, including acting president, provost, assistant provost, professor and coordinator of graduate programs in education, dean of freshman studies, assistant vice president for academic affairs, director of summer sessions, and director of the assessment and learning support center. She has also held positions at Virginia State University, Auburn University and Alexander City State Junior College.

Haysbert is the mother of five children: Andre, a Hampton University graduate and public school teacher in Maryland; Nineveh, a Hampton University and Langston University graduate; Nazareth, a Georgetown University graduate and current law school student at the University of Oklahoma; Jordan, a graduate of Hampton University; and Samaria, who is currently enrolled at Hampton University.