PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia State University announced on Thursday that Hampton University’s Dr. William Harvey will be their fall 2021 VSU Commencement speaker.  

Click here to subscribe to WAVY’s breaking news email alerts

“Dr. Harvey’s monumental legacy as President of Hampton University for more than 40 years sets him apart and places him among the most respected and relevant educational speakers of our time,” said VSU President, Dr. Makola M. Abdullah.

After graduating from VSU, Dr. Harvey went on to earn his doctorate in College Administration from Harvard University. He then went on to hold administrative posts at Harvard, Fisk, and Tuskegee universities before being named president of Hampton University in 1978.

“Our VSU Community is inspired by his esteemed work and contributions to society, and we are further enamored by his inspirational love story with another Trojan, his beautiful wife, Norma,” added Abdullah. “His presence will be the perfect culmination to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our graduating Trojans.”

In the four decades since Harvey was named Hampton’s president, enrollment has more than doubled as more than 90 new academic programs have been added.

VSU’s commencement is set for December 18 at 10 a.m. at the VSU Multipurpose Center in Petersburg, VA. All guests, over the age of 18, will be required to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate in or attend the ceremony.

Students and staff who have been granted medical or religious exemptions by VSU will be allowed to participate in the ceremony after providing a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of the ceremony, however, the exemption will not be applied to the public.

To allow for social distancing and reduced capacity, each graduate will be allotted four general admission tickets.

The ceremony will be live-streamed on the VSU website and broadcast live on WVST radio.