Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Brett Pulley of Bloomberg News Named New Dean of the HU Journalism School

Brett Pulley of Bloomberg News Named New Dean of the HU Journalism School

Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey has announced that Brett Pulley has been named dean of the HU Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications. Pulley’s appointment is effective January 1, 2012.

“The Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications has gained a national reputation of preparing students in the ever-changing media industry. Mr. Pulley’s vast knowledge and experience in the journalism and digital media makes him an ideal candidate to lead the School and prepare a new generation of communicators,” Harvey said.

Pulley, business journalist and author, currently covers the media and entertainment industries at Bloomberg L.P., the global information services, news and media company. His work appears daily on the company's terminals, its website, and inside its magazines. He is a frequent commentator on Bloomberg Television.

"I am honored to return to my alma mater and work with our dynamic president Dr. Harvey,” Pulley said. “This is an exciting time in the media business and an exciting time for the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications. The faculty and administration have been doing a terrific job of training and placing students in the business. With the proliferation of digital distribution platforms now driving profound changes in the media industry, we have a terrific challenge and a unique opportunity to make Hampton University one of the premier schools for journalism, communications, and digital media innovation. I am looking forward to leading the Scripps Howard School in this effort, and I'm thrilled about returning with my family to Hampton University. ”

Formerly a senior editor at Forbes Magazine, Pulley authored many cover stories for the magazine on topics ranging from the legendary Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, to the entertainment giant, The Walt Disney Co. Prior to joining Forbes in 1999, Pulley spent five years at The New York Times, as a national correspondent, and as a local reporter covering politics and economic development. His work at The Times was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Pulley also spent five years as a correspondent at The Wall Street Journal, where he was based in Chicago and New York, covering the airline industry and national urban affairs.

Pulley has served as the president and chief executive officer of, an internet company dedicated to tourism and entertainment. In this capacity, he was responsible for a website with over 150,000 visitors and 500,000 page views each month, providing users with hotel and restaurant reservations, transportation services, sightseeing tours, and tickets to concerts, Broadway shows and sports events.

He has received numerous journalism awards, including two first place annual prizes from the National Association of Black Journalists, one in 1994 and another in 2002. Pulley has appeared frequently as a guest on television, providing commentary and insight on media and entertainment industry issues. He has made appearances on networks such as CNN, CNBC, and MSNBC, and has been called on to discuss the finances of celebrities on Entertainment Tonight, Showbiz Tonight, Inside Edition, Access Hollywood, CBS’s “48 Hours,” and NBC’s “Dateline.”

A native of Washington, D.C., Pulley has a bachelor’s degree from Hampton University, and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He is a member of the board of trustees at Hampton University, and a member of the board of The Andre Gist Memorial Scholarship Foundation.

Pulley is the author of “The Billion Dollar BET” (John Wiley & Sons, April 2004), a book that takes an in-depth look at Black Entertainment Television and its founder, Robert L. Johnson. Pulley lives in South Orange, New Jersey, with his wife, Stacey, and their two teenage daughters, Zoe and Blake.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hampton University Senior Selected as Marshall Scholarship Finalist

Hampton University Senior Selected as Marshall Scholarship Finalist

Hampton University senior Kendyl Crawley-Crawford has been chosen as a 2012 Marshall Scholarship finalist.

“Although I am nervous, I am excited and happy that my hard work has paid off,” stated Crawley-Crawford, a marine and environmental science major and native of Hampton, Va.  “I look forward to the opportunity to represent Hampton University and my Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences on a national level.”

The Marshall Scholarship is one of the most prestigious postgraduate scholarships available to Americans. The Marshall Scholarships finance American students to study at any institution in the United Kingdom. Up to 40 scholars are selected each year at the graduate level.

Crawley-Crawford has a 3.9 GPA and is involved in many research activities related to marine fisheries and environmental conservation. She has traveled as far away as Tuvalu to document fisheries catches, and her research has informed and updated various bodies of the United Nations. Crawley-Crawford has also worked to organize youth around environmental concerns and has published a children’s book about ecology. A well-rounded student, Crawley-Crawford is also an avid tap dancer, pianist, and composer.

“Hampton University is extremely proud of Kendyl and we are all rooting for her as she prepares for the Marshall interviews,” stated Dr. Freddye Davy, Endowed University Professor and Director of the Honors College at Hampton.

Marshall Scholarship winners are selected for their potential to excel as scholars and leaders. Scholars are future leaders that are expected to strengthen the relationship between the British and American people.  
Twenty Marshall finalists are selected from eight regions in October and interview with their region's selection committee in November. Crawley-Crawford will interview with the committee on November 11.

 In 1953, an Act of Parliament established the Marshall Scholarship program. Named in honor of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the scholarships are an expression of Britain’s gratitude for economic assistance received through the Marshall Plan after World War II.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hampton University Alumnus Named Rhodes Scholarship Finalist

Hampton University Alumnus Named Rhodes Scholarship Finalist

Hampton University’s 2011 valedictorian and former Student Government Association President Jeffrey Eugene has been named a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarships.

The Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest and best-known awards for international study, giving scholars an opportunity to study at the University of Oxford in England.  It is one of the most renowned academic awards available to American college students.

"Jeff has all the qualities that one would hope to find in a Rhodes Scholar,” stated Dr. Freddye Davy, Endowed University Professor and director of the Honors College at Hampton. “He is a future leader, someone who is selfless and cares deeply about others.  He is also eager to explore the world.  We are terribly proud of him and are wishing him great success in the interviewing process."

While at HU, Eugene was involved in a wide range of activities including published scientific research with the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, acting in a number of college plays and tutoring peers and younger students. Eugene is currently a first year medical student at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Rhodes Scholars are chosen in a two-stage process.  First, their university or college endorses candidates and then a Committees of Selection in each of the 16 U.S. districts invites the strongest applicants to appear before them for interview.

Eugene sought the university endorsement of Hampton University for the scholarship and received it this fall.

“I am grateful and honored to be named a Rhodes Scholar finalist.” stated Eugene. “I have worked hard to emulate the expectations of a Rhodes Scholar throughout my academic career. Hampton has supported me and encouraged me to push myself to achieve. I am truly humbled by the opportunity to interview with the committee.”

Established in 1902 by the will of Cecil John Rhodes, The Rhodes Scholarships winners are chosen based on requirements set aside by Rhodes in his will. The criteria are high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor.

On November 18 and 19 Eugene will interview before the District VI selection committee, representing Georgia and Virginia, among 12 other finalists. Two finalists from the district will be chosen to represent the 32 Rhodes Scholars from the United States. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

HU Announces 2011-2012 Musical Arts Society Season

HU Announces 2011-2012 Musical Arts Society Season

The Hampton University Musical Arts Society has announced its 2011-2012 events featuring the Urban Souls Dance Company, Handel’s “Messiah” Sing-a-Long and Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes. All performances will be held in Hampton University’s historic Ogden Hall, widely known for being one of the premier acoustic settings on the East Coast.
Urban Souls Dance Company

Urban Souls Dance Company, Nov. 11, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Based in Houston, Texas, the Urban Souls Dance Company believes in bridging gaps between the worlds of urban life and dance theater. Dedicated to the preservation and creation of historical and contemporary dances, Urban Souls celebrates cultural themes that educate and entertain.  This dance troupe provides audiences with more than just a dance performance, but a passionate “dance experience that will inspire and energize audiences.”
Admission is $30 general, $15 for students. Tickets are available online, or call the HU Convocation Center box office at (757) 728-6800, Mon. - Fri., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Call (757) 728-6508 for more information on attending a master class with Urban Souls Dance Company.
Handel's Messiah
HU Choirs & Orchestra present Handel’s “Messiah” Sing-A-Long, Dec. 4, 2011 at 4 p.m
Celebrate the season with a “Sing-A-Long” to George Frederic Handel’s timeless holiday classic.  This timeless musical holiday classic has become a traditional event in the Hampton Roads community.  HU’s Department of Music, University Choirs and Orchestra invite audiences to join along with featured artists Shelia J. Maye, soprano; Suzanne Oberdorfer, mezzo-soprano; Michael Myers, tenor; and Walter Swann, baritone.
Admission for this annual event is free; donations are appreciated.
Lonnie Smith
Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes April 6, 2012, at 8 p.m.
Richmond-native Lonnie Liston Smith is one of contemporary music's most versatile musicians, fusing jazz, soul and funk music together.  In a career that began in the 1970s, he has played alongside leaders such as Miles Davis and Pharoah Sanders before founding his own band, the Cosmic Echoes.
Admission is $25 general, $15 students.  Tickets are available online, or call the HU Convocation Center box office at
(757) 728-6800, Mon. - Fri., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For more information on the Hampton University Musical Arts Society visit  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

HU alum’s booking agency plans Homecoming concerts

Tenisha Percell' 03 stands with Rick Ross after the HU Homecoming Concert 2010

HU alum’s booking agency plans Homecoming concerts
Thousands of screaming students packed in the Hampton University Convocation Center, performers giving their all and leaving their hearts on stage after performing, concert-goers still buzzing about performances years after the show.  These are the elements that are always present at HU’s homecoming concerts, and are a result of the business of Hampton alumna, Tenisha Percell ‘03.
A former entertainment editor of The Hampton Script, Percell turned her passion into profit when she founded “The Skool Boye Agency,” which she describes as “the most successful college-booking agency in the world.” The Skool Boye Agency specializes in the entertainment and product needs of the college market, and particularly plays a major role in the HBCU community.
The company started as an idea that Percell pitched to the Student Activities Office at HU, but now represents more than 200 schools across the country. As a student, in the agency’s humble beginnings, Percell helped bring Charlie Baltimore to HU for the school’s rendition of “Making the Band” in 2003.  The Agency has also been nationally recognized for its achievements, and had an article published in September 2009 in Black Enterprise about its successes.
Selecting the right artists for a concert for students with diverse musical interests can be tricky. To help choose the best artists for campus culture, The Skool Boye Agency conducts research. They provide surveys and polls to students to figure out which artists the majority of the school wants to perform. The agency then books these artists, and handles everything from managing to promotion.
Percell attributes most of the agency’s success to the training she received at her Home by the Sea. HU’s Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Barbara Inman said, “The Skool Boye Agency has really taken the Hampton University Homecoming concert to the next level.”
Purcell has advice for current students looking to pursue a similar path. She earned her HU degree in Media Management.
 “Start doing what you want to do now,” she said.  “Find mentors and internships, and stay involved in a lot of activities.”
Students are anxiously awaiting the homecoming concert for this year and buzz about the performers has been a top topic on campus. What can students expect this year? This year’s homecoming concert features Travis Porter, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Porter and Miguel.
According to Percell, “Students can expect to have a lot of fun, and will see a lot of dancing and will hear a lot of yelling.”
For more information on The Skool Boye Agency, visit

-Morgan  Gusby

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Miss Hampton University Coronation - “Fly Me To The Moon”

Miss HU 2011-2012 and her Homecoming Court.

Miss HU 2011-2012, Eyden Thomas, is crowned. 
The Miss Hampton University Coronation, “Fly Me To The Moon,” is 7 p.m., Oct. 19, in Ogden Hall. This traditional ceremony recognizes the “Mr.” and “Miss” from various campus organizations, and showcases the official crowing of Miss Hampton University who, this year, is Eyden Thomas, a senior sociology major from Charlotte, N.C.

Thomas won the title earlier this month. Her platform, “Empowering A Generation: Promoting Literacy Among the Hampton Roads Community” is dear to her heart.  She aspires to work as an educational advocate for underprivileged students.

On her experience with the pageant, Thomas said, “The girls were great … I truly made six new friends.”

Thomas is honored to have the title of Miss Hampton University 2011-2012, though she hasn’t quite settled in to the reality of it all.

“Everything is still very surreal at this point. Everyone says that after coronation it will finally set in,” said Thomas.

Admission to the ceremony is free and open to the public, and a reception will follow in the Student Center Ballroom. For more information about this event or other homecoming festivities, visit or contact the HU Office of Student Activities at 757.727.5691.

-Stephanie Arterbery

Monday, October 17, 2011

Contestants and their coaches taking a break from rehearsal to smile for the camera. Chelsea Balentine (First Hampton Idol winner and vocal coach), Arquilla Burks, Zainab Mustapha, Malcom Scott, Apollo Simon (Vocal coach), and Jordan Johnson

Hampton Idol” kicks off HU Homecoming Week
Although Hampton University has a strong culture for music, there are many underground musicians that go unnoticed. In 2009, HU’s Student Leadership Program created Hampton Idol, a singing and rapping contest devoted to recognizing some of the school’s hidden talent.
In the beginning of the first Hampton Idol competition, contestants performed in the Student Center atrium for the first round of auditions, and went through a closed audition before making it to the show. Contestants were informed that they made it past the auditions, and worked with musicians to get arrangements and performances together. After two short weeks of rehearsals, it was show time.                    
Hundreds of students, including myself, packed Ogden Hall to witness the first Hampton Idol. The atmosphere oozed with positive vibes, and the stage showcased major talent. The show consisted of two parts; one portion was dedicated to singers, and the other portion was dedicated to rappers. Contestants got a chance to perform one song of their choice for the first round, then, celebrity judges eliminated three contestants from each part. The remaining two contestants got a chance to go head to head in the final round and received critiques from the judges. Amazing vocalist and senior, Chelsea Balentine was named the Hampton Idol winner for the singing portion. Quirky and well- known rap group Earth Gang emerged as the Hampton Idol winner for the rap portion.
Last year was the second showcase of Hampton Idol, and the performances were bigger and better. Singing group Emphasis wowed the crowd with a theatrical interpretation of the Bruno Mars hit “Billionaire,” and seduced Hamptonian women with a dance break during Destiny’s Child song “Cater to You.” Emphasis is an all male group composed of four juniors and one senior. Sophomore rapper Chemist enticed the crowd with his smooth rhymes during his performance. Emphasis and Chemist emerged as the two Hampton Idol winners for 2010.
The competition this year contains some heavy hitters in the singing category, including the go-go band’s lead singer Zainab Mustapha, and well-known campus singers, Jordan Johnson and Scotte Johnson.  The rappers this year include some previous contestants, and all have slick rhymes and punch lines, but must work the crowd well in order to win.
Students are anxiously waiting to see what talent HU has to offer this year. The competition is scheduled for 7p.m.  Oct. 17. in Ogden Hall and kicks off homecoming week. Tickets are on sale for $3 and are selling out fast.
As the competition approaches, contestants are working hard to put the finishing touches on their performances. Pre-judging this year’s show, I predict the contestants will make it hard for the judges.  Keep up with the HU blog site for the announcement of the 2011 Hampton Idol winners.

-Morgan Gusby

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Back by Popular Demand! Dreamgirls back in full force

Back by Popular Demand! Dreamgirls back in full force

Dr. Karen Turner Ward, director of Dreamgirls
Dreamgirls, this popular movie and stage play, garnered rave reviews by the Hampton University community. Students and staff have flocked to the sold-out shows last March put on by the Hampton Players and Company and were thrilled that it would be brought back Oct. 12-16 as an encore production.  

This is not the first encore production that has been done by the Hampton Players. Recently, the original musical, “A Love To Call My Own” was brought back after an overwhelming box office response. After selling out of all 12 performances last year, Dreamgirls is back for those who were unable to see it or want the opportunity to see it again.

Under the direction of Dr. Karen Ward and the work of the Hampton Players, this year’s production of Dreamgirls will be sure to deliver just as it has previously. For one week, audiences will continue to be amazed by the scenes and costumes of the show. There were over 250 complete costume changes last year and this year’s production will include even more, along with some additional breathtaking pieces.
Ward, chair of the department of Fine and Performing Arts, is very pleased that the production had such a great reception. With the new additions and dynamics for the show, it is sure to keep one entertained.

The spectacle of the show was one of the highlights of Dreamgirls last year and we have added even more spectacle elements this year including special effects and pyrotechnics that will have our audiences wondering, “How did they do that?” said Ward.

This production would not be anything without its cast. They are the true essence for a show. Past and present cast members for Dreamgirls have enjoyed their experience and the bonds that developed. Ashley Garcia, who is a freshman this year, has enjoyed working with the other cast members and her experience with the play.  Garcia chose to audition because she thought it would be a great way to get involved and she is interested in entertainment. She also has never been in a play before and thought it would be something new. Even with this being her first year in the play, she has been able to transition.

“The cast is very disciplined and serious about their roles,” said Garcia. “They are exciting to be around and have been very helpful.”

Past and present cast member, Jade Banks, has enjoyed her experience as well.

“I have met a lot of different people and it has been a really good experience,” said Banks. She also has enjoyed getting to know the freshman cast members and showing them the ropes. This will be Bank’s second year in the production playing the role of Deena. When asked about her role,
“It has been very challenging but rewarding,” said Banks. “It is a lot of big shoes to fill…Sheryl Lee Ralph, who played the role on Broadway and Beyonce’ Knowles, who played the role in the movie.”

The production will be held in the Armstrong Hall Little Theatre.  It will run from Oct. 12-16 and begin at 8 p.m. and matinees (Saturday and Sunday) beginning at 3 pm. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for students/seniors.  HU students are free.

If you missed it the first time, you definitely want to catch it the second time around!  For tickets call (757) 727-5236 and for questions or information regarding the production, contact Dr. Karen Turner Ward-  (757) 727-5402/5416.

                                                                               - Stephanie Arterbery 

Friday, October 7, 2011

HU Choir members perform at the Kennedy Center

HU Choir members perform at the 
Kennedy Center
Christen Wilson, a member of Hampton University’s Concert and University Choirs, was a recipient of a $5,000 scholarship sponsored by the 105 Voices of History

           Two Hampton University students were chosen to participate in the 105 Voices of History HBCU National Concert Choir. Shaun Simmons, a second-year voice major from Philadelphia, Pa., and Christen Wilson, a third-year voice major from Jacksonville, Fla., were selected from among HU students to participate. The National Concert Choir’s performance was held on Sept. 18 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.
            Wilson, a member of Hampton University’s Concert and University Choirs, was a recipient of a $5,000 scholarship sponsored by the 105 Voices of History.
            “Being a part of the 105 Voices of History was an unforgettable experience,” said Wilson. “Performing at the Kennedy Center was an honor I never thought I’d have the opportunity to experience.” He was awarded on stage during the concert choir’s performance at the Kennedy Center.
The 105 Voices of History is an HBCU national initiative managed by Partners Achieving Success, an organization created to promote diversity in America’s national venues and to link students’ skills across industries. It was established in 2008 to function as the foremost purveyor of young, emerging African-American leaders, thinkers, entrepreneurs, and resource developers in the country. Performing arts are used as platforms to showcase talent, while seminars and workshops provide rising leaders with leadership, diversity, and entrepreneurial training along with health education and financial literacy education.
            HU has had a strong presence in the 105 Voice of History since its origin. In 2008, Hampton University Director of Choirs Royzell Dillard served as a regional conductor for the 105 Voices of History, helping put together the first Kennedy Center Concert. Three HU students, Elana Moore, Paris Rutledge, and Lauren Davis-Stroud; sang in the first choir, and Elana Moore emerged as the first Voice- a representative of the entire organization. From the spring of 2009 through the current season, Dillard has served as the national choir director.
            Dillard, Simmons, and Wilson attended the five-day leadership conference that began on Sept. 13 and took the dynamic trio from the Kennedy Center to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The final performance on Sept. 18 included a guest appearance by world-renowned songstress and actress Jennifer Holiday.
            “The 105 Voices of History Experience was one to remember because of the constant rehearsals and workshops that made me a better person,” said Simmons. “It was a great opportunity to network with students from across the country.”  

                                                                                             - Morgan Gusby

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Google representatives recruit HU students

Google representatives recruit HU students

Google representatives ask HU students trivia questions.
Representatives from Google pose with HU students who have had internships at Google.
Representatives from Google made a visit to Hampton University on the evening of Sept. 28.  With a lot of anticipation, HU students filled every seat in the auditorium in the Science and Technology building. The Google representatives opened the information session with a series of  trivia questions about what it is like to work at their company.  Students who answered the questions correctly won a series of prizes, ranging from typical give-aways to electronic tablets.

However, the fun was not over yet.  The Google representatives surprised the students by bringing in boxed meals for everyone in the room. They later collected the resumes of those who were interested in positions, and then opened the floor for questions and comments. 

                          - Khalid Livingston

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

HU Players Announce 2011-2012 Theater Season

HU Players Announce 2011-2012 Theater Season
The Hampton University Players and Company proudly presents its 2011-2012 theater season.  Described as the “Season of Family,” this year’s showcase features Broadway worthy performances with guest star Aunjanue Ellis of “The Help” appearing in one of the productions. All performances are in HU’s Armstrong Hall Little Theater

Music by Henry Krieger
Lyrics and Book by Tom Eyen
Directed by Karen Turner Ward
Oct. 12-15 shows begin at 8 p.m.
Oct. 15, 16 matinees begin at 3 p.m.
Tickets: $15 General Admission, $12 Students/Seniors

Nominated for thirteen Tony Awards and the winner of six, 
DreamGirls is based upon the show business aspirations and successes of R & B acts such as The Supremes, The Shirelles, James Brown, Jackie Wilson and others.  A young female singing trio from Chicago, gets their break at an amateur competition, and begins singing backup vocals for James “Thunder” Early.  However, things begin to spin out of control when their agent, Curtis Taylor, Jr., makes Deena and not Effie, the star of what will become known as “The Dreams.”  This piece of engaging theatre is captivating entertainment; you will definitely want to see it more than once!

How I Learned to Drive
By Paula Vogel
Directed by Robin Jackson Boisseau
Dec. 2, 3 shows begin at 8 p.m.
Dec. 4 matinee begins at 3 p.m.
Tickets: $10 General Admission, $8 Students/Seniors

Paula Vogel’s 
How I Learned to Drive gives a light look at a very dark subject.  The audience is taken for a bumpy ride as Li’l Bit recounts her deepening relationship with her Uncle Peck, a truly caring man with one major flaw.  Her “lessons” span many years and we come to understand not only the how of their relationship, but the why as well.  The overtly theatrical method of presentation—including flashbacks, non-realistic setting, and the device of the Greek chorus—both distances the audience and draws them into the world of Li’l Bit and Uncle Peck as he instructs her not only how to drive, but how to have the strength to make adult choices in life.
A World Premiere

Through the Crack

Adapted for the stage by K. T. Price, V.J. Banks, and Charrita D. Danley
Based on the Novel by Charrita D. Danley
Original Music by K.T. Price and C Major
Thursday – Saturday, March 15-17, 2012 at 8pm
Sunday, March 18, 2012 at 3pm

Tickets: $15 General Admission -$12 Students/Seniors

Through the Crack is the heart-warming story of three African American women who are bound to one another by the common blood that flows through their veins. Vickie’s single, saved and sanctified sister, Vanessa Morgan, has her middleclass lifestyle in the city disrupted when she is forced to acknowledge what she has long suspected--that her sister is entangled in a web of drug addiction and headed swiftly for destruction. This provocative play traces the women’s journey from addiction to recovery, detailing their thoughts, feelings, and actions towards their circumstances, and exposing their individual desires to avoid being smothered by family responsibilities and relationships. The characters’ faith in God sustains them through the laughter and the tears as they learn the true meaning of unconditional love on all levels.  This production will star special guest Aunjanue Ellis. She is known for her roles in The HelpThe Mentalist, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3Men of HonorUndercover BrotherRay, New York UndercoverThe PracticeThird WatchUndercover BrotherLaw and Order: Criminal Intentand Numb3rs

Hampton University Fashion Week
April 17-April 21
"Fashion Week" evokes thoughts of big name designers, paparazzi and flashing lights. Hampton University’s Fashion Week will be no different. The Department of Fine and Performing Arts will showcase the best student and professional designers in an intimate environment providing an experience like no other seen in this area. Workshops, seminars, lectures, and photo shoots held by industry professionals, will culminate with an exciting HU
 Rips the Runway Fashion Show in the Little Theatre in Armstrong Hall April 21 at 8 p.m. Contact the HU Box Office for ticket pricing and information.

For ticket information, contact the HU Box Office at (757) 727-5236 or (757) 727-5402.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

HU Updates for New Student Check-In

HU Updates for New Student Check-In

Hurricane Irene has been predicted to produce hurricane force winds and rain this weekend in Hampton Roads. At this time, HU plans to adhere to the schedule for new student check-in on Friday, Aug. 26 and Saturday, Aug. 27. However, in the event that severe weather may impact travel, new students may check-in to the residence halls on Monday or Tuesday. Visit for updated information.

Monday, August 22, 2011

HU alum inducted into National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame

Johnnie B. Booker

HU alum inducted into National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame

Atlanta, Ga.  – Hampton University Alumnus Johnnie B. Booker, Class of 1961, will be inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame on Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta located at 265 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta.  

The ceremony highlights and honors deserving graduates of HBCUs for their distinguished service to their country, alma mater and excelling in their field of endeavor and/or contribution to community and society. 

The induction ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta located at 265 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Ga.  

For the past 26 years, the Hall of Fame has recognized and celebrated the accomplishments of these graduates in the fields of arts and entertainment, athletics, business and industry, community service, education, faith and theology, government and law, medicine, science and lifetime achievement.

Since graduating from Hampton University with a bachelor’s of science degree in sociology, Johnnie Booker has held many prominent positions within prestigious companies, appeared in countless national publications and has received an abundant of honors and awards for her exceptional specialized contributions and accomplishments.

As the vice president of the Resolution Trust Corporation Booker created extraordinary contracting and investment opportunities for minority and women owned businesses and law firms.  She commissioned the first disparity study by a federal agency, and increased contracting fees for minority and women owned businesses from 18 percent to over 48 percent and from 3 to 26 percent for minority and women owned law firms.

She later went on to become the global director of supplier diversity at The Coca-Cola Company. Booker has exceeded the company’s goals every year. Within her first year with Coca-Cola she increased business by 50 percent with minority and women owned businesses, and exceeded the company’s goal by 27 percent.

For tickets to the ceremony and more information on the 26th Annual National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. Weekend conference, please call  404-524-1106 or visit

                           - Breana Hubbard '12

Thursday, August 18, 2011

“The Help” Actress Aunjanue Ellis to star in HU production

If there were ever an actress that could demand the attention of an audience, even when sharing the screen with heavyweight movie stars like Viola Davis, Jamie Foxx, and Denzel Washington, it is Aunjanue Ellis. For more than a decade we’ve enjoyed Ellis on a number of television shows such as The Practice, New York Undercover, True Blood, and her latest, The Mentalist.

Ellis has also showcased her range as an actress repeatedly on the silver screen, from portraying Ray Charles’ first background singer Mary Ann Fisher in Ray, to portraying Harlem Renaissance author Zora Neale Hurston in Brother 2 Brother. Next spring Ellis will join the Hampton University family when she stars in the Hampton Player’s and Company production Through the Crack 

Through the Crack will be performed at Armstrong Hall Little Theater March 15-17. It is the heart-warming story of three African-American women bound to one another by the common blood that flows through their veins. Vickie’s single, saved and sanctified sister Vanessa Morgan, has her middleclass lifestyle in the city disrupted when she is forced to acknowledge what she has long suspected--that her sister is entangled in a web of drug addiction and headed swiftly for destruction.  This provocative play traces the women’s journey from addiction to recovery, detailing their thoughts, feelings, and actions towards their circumstances, and exposing their individual desires to avoid being smothered by family responsibilities and relationships.  The characters’ faith in God sustains them through the laughter and the tears, as they learn the true meaning of unconditional love on all levels.  Ellis will return to her theatre roots in the lead role as Vickie Morgan.

Ellis can currently be seen portraying Yule May in the critically acclaimed movie The Help, starring Viola Davis, Emma Stone, and Octavia Spencer. Ellis sat down with us to discuss her career as an actress and her current role in "The Help."
Q: Your new movie "The Help" hit theaters Aug. 10. What attracted you to this project?
A: It was a story about Mississippi women. I am a Mississippi woman. It was shot in Mississippi. I live in Mississippi. And the character and the story got beneath my skin.

Q: In "The Help" you play Yule May. Can you give a little background information on her?
A: Yule May is a woman who interrupted her life and her education to take care of her children and is forced to make a choice that alters her life and her family’s life forever. I hope I was sufficiently vague in that response. I don’t want to give too much away.

Q: What was it like working alongside Viola Davis and Cicely Tyson?
A: Viola Davis is a bad chick first of all. She is a great actor, one of THE great ones. But besides the education I got by working with her, I experienced her humility and generosity as an actor. It was revelatory. Octavia Spencer, who hopefully everyone will know after this movie comes out, is also a bad chick and just as lovely a human being. And I did not work with Ms. Tyson, but I did get to breathe her air for a few weeks. I felt blessed to do it!

Q: "The Help" is Tate Taylor’s directing debut. What was it like working with a new director? 
A: Tate was fresh, inventive, thorough, calming, as well as profane and hilarious. Everything you want in any director.

Q: The movie deals with racial issues that will remind older audience members of experiences they may have lived through. It will also shed light on a time in our past that younger audience members have never and will never experience. What do you want an audience member to take away from the movie?
 A: Working on the movie, I met several people whose lives, their current lives, are reflected in the themes of this story. I think individual privilege sometimes blinds us to the very real existence of racism. It is a tired conversation that needs a new language, perhaps. I hope this movie contributes to that happening.

Q: What inspired you to be an actor?
A: I was inspired by Vanessa A. Williams’ portrayal of a hit woman in New Jack City.

Q: What was your favorite character to portray and why?
A: Molly Cunningham in August Wilson’s play "Joe Turner's Come and Gone.” She was fun, sexy, funny, mean, fragile, pained, and lonely. I had to integrate all of those elements into a very limited amount of text. It nearly killed me, because I was never satisfied. I didn’t achieve all that I wanted in her until the end of the run of the play. I couldn't sleep. I cut myself off from my friends. Sounds unhealthy, right? It was. But, when I was on stage and felt the audience was traveling with her, that they understood her, were appalled by her, hated her, loved her, it was everything I wanted to experience as an actor. 

Q: When looking at scripts and characters, what attracts you to a part?
A: Will it be fun? Will I fall in love with her? Learn something from her? Will I look forward to waking up in the morning to be with her? And I read that if a project scares (an actor), then they know it is something they should do. I feel the same way. If I get sweaty-palmed about a character, then I know she's for me.

Q: Some actors have no problem crossing the line by portraying controversial roles and performing risqué scenes such as Halle Berry in “Monster’s Ball,” Denzel Washington playing a corrupt cop in “Training Day,” and Monique playing the abusive mother in “Precious.”  Are there any roles you won’t take or instances where you won’t cross the line as an actor?
A: No. Lines are meant to be crossed. Any actor worth their breeding is a fearless one ready to cross over, no, leap over lines. If it is in the human experience, then it is worth telling.

Q: What was your most pivotal moment as an actor?
A: There hasn't been one, but anytime someone says they are moved by some work I’ve done, then that is important to me.

Q: How do you feel about the state of the industry in regards to actors being given the opportunity to portray reputable characters? What about minority actors?
A: I have to say I have no interest in playing characters that are merely reputable. They bore me. I love the ill reputed, because I love challenging prejudices and preconceptions about people.

Q: What’s the biggest obstacle for an actor in today’s industry regarding obtaining work?
A: So many actors, wonderful ones too, and too few roles.

Q: What piece of advice would you give those looking into a professional acting career?
A: Every actor's experience is unique, so I bristle at giving philosophical advice to anyone. Practical advice is best. So I’ll say this, you will have to change outfits/costumes a lot between appointments so learn how to change clothes in public without getting arrested! Oh, and when you get to said appointment--be prepared! Know the lines better than anybody in the room.

Q: What keeps you going? Did you ever have moments where you wanted to throw in the towel?
A: I have never felt like I’ve gotten it right. I will always keep pushing until I do.

- Jade Banks