William R. Harvey, president of Hampton University, the historically Black educational institution in Virginia, has been named by two organizations as one of the top five HBCU presidents of all time. State of HBCUs, a blog written by Brian McClure and Tracae McClure, also included Booker T. Washington, Mordecai Johnson, Johnnetta Cole, and Robert Moton among the top five HBCU presidents. It must be noted that both McClures are graduates of Hampton University, so they may be a bit prejudiced in favor of Dr. Harvey.
But HBCU Digest also named Dr. Harvey among its list of the Five Greatest HBCU Presidents. Also on the HBCU Digest list are Benjamin Mays, Johnnetta Cole, Frederick Humphries, and Norman Francis, the current president of Xavier University in New Orleans.
Dr. Harvey has been president of Hampton University since 1978. During his tenure, enrollment has grown tremendously. Scores of new academic programs have been introduced, many new buildings have been erected and millions of dollars have been spent on the renovation of existing facilities. The university’s endowment, which stood at $29 million when he became president, now exceeds $232 million.
Prior to coming to Hampton, Dr. Harvey held administrative posts at Harvard University, Tuskegee University, and Fisk University. He holds a doctorate in higher education administration from Harvard University.