Dr. William R. Harvey is a leader with a legacy of dedication to HBCUs that few can match. After serving as President of Hampton University for over 4 decades, today he announced his retirement.

In June 2022, Dr. Harvey will step down from his leadership role with what will be 43 years of service. According to Virginia Business, he will be the eight-longest serving university president in the United States. He is Hampton’s 12th president amid the HBCU’s 152-year history. 

Since Dr. Harvey took office, Hampton University has grown to establish itself as a force within the HBCU community and the nation’s higher education system at large. According to a statement from the university, over 36,000 students have graduated during Dr. Harvey’s tenure. His other accomplishments include the initiation of 92 new academic degrees (including 12 new doctoral programs), the erecting of 29 new buildings on campus; increasing SAT scores by more than 300 points; launching four satellites which are currently flying in space; building a state-of the-art weather antenna that can detect hurricanes and storms up to 2,000 miles away; establishing the largest free-standing proton beam cancer center in the world, which treats prostate, breast, lung, ocular, pediatric, spine, head, neck and brain cancers; and increasing the endowment from $29 million to over $300 million. Hampton’s “William R. Harvey Leadership Institute” was named after him, the library was named after he and his wife, and the main passageway through the 314-acre campus is named William Harvey Way.

Through his invested time at Hampton, Dr. Harvey has become a notable figure and inspiration to students and staff alike. 

“As a Hampton University alumnus and Chairman of its Board of Trustees, the growth and development that I have witnessed under Dr. Harvey’s successful leadership have been, in a word, triumphant,” said Trustee Wesley Coleman in a statement.  “The significance of this president’s legendary contributions to Hampton will be celebrated for generations.”

Over the years, Dr. Harvey has done more than just lead. He and his wife have donated $8.5 million to Hampton University. The two own a Pepsi Cola bottling franchise, securing the influence of Hampton within circles far beyond education. 

Although he has much left to do, Dr. Harvey released a reflective and inspiring statement. 

“The formula for any success that I have had is based on five priorities: character traits of honesty, integrity, respect, trustworthiness and good personal behavior; high standards and values; a good work ethic; service to others; and appreciating and utilizing the team approach,” he said.