HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton University celebrated Dr. William R. Harvey’s retirement with a gala on Saturday night in honor of his more than 40 years as president.

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The university hosted ‘Celebrating a Legend’s Legacy: The Harvey Years Gala’ on Saturday at the Hampton University Convocation Center. The event was open to the public.

“It means a lot that so many people are here to celebrate him,” said Harvey’s daughter Leslie Harvey. “And all that he’s accomplished and to bring recognition to all of the work that he has done for Hampton.”

The event was deemed black-tie and included dinner, dancing, networking, and some big, well-known names.

Kevin Frazier of Entertainment Tonight served as MC at the event and multi-Grammy Award winner Babyface performed.

“Our world is in chaos now,” Dr. Harvey told 10 On Your Side. “We need young people and old people to understand that what they need is courage, intellectual ability, and hard work to try to bring people together.”

Gala tickets were $300 each, but University officials say money raised from the event will help fund various scholarships. That includes the new Harvey Legacy Endowed Scholarship and the Harvey Legacy Current-Use Scholarship.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin event issued a proclamation naming June 11, 2022, as Dr. William R. Harvey Day in the Commonwealth.

Dr. Harvey has presided as HU president since 1978.

In retirement, he plans to write several novels.