Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Highest ranking African American at Bank of America addresses business students

Highest ranking African American at Bank of America addresses business students
Dean Dr. Sid Credle poses with Finale Norton and Victor K. Branch of Bank of America. 

The Hampton University School of Business welcomed back one of its own, alumna Finale Norton '85, Bank of America Senior Vice President, East Retail Contact Center, Executive Customer Service Contact Center and Victor K. Branch, Bank of America Senior Vice President, Richmond & Hampton Roads Market Manager.
"We are always delighted to have an alumnus come back," said Dr. Sid Credle, Dean of the Hampton University School of Business. "Mrs. Norton is of the highest ranking African-American at Bank of America, her connection back to Hampton is great. And we are desire to maintain a long lasting relationship between our institution and the bank."
Norton and Branch with student tour guides.
Norton's visit to her alma mater was a part of the business school's Leader Application Program (LAP) where Norton and Branch spent the day touring campus and speaking to several groups of students about how her time at HU prepared her for the business world both socially and professionally.
"One lesson that Hampton taught us while I was in school was the importance of knowing how to carry yourself in a business setting," said Norton. "There have been several instances where I have attended events and I have been the sole minority in attendance. And because of the education and training at Hampton, I was prepared to show my peers I was not intimidated." 
Norton and Branch addressed approximately 150 students, where they discussed their day to day responsibilities at Bank of America, opportunities at Bank of America, as well as providing knowledge based on experience they've gained in their almost 30 years in business. 
Bank of America Senior Vice President Finale Norton & Victor K. Branch receive copies of "Banjo Lesson" from HU Business students (pictured from left to right) Alayah Saunders, Brielle Lewis, Ayanna Donovan & Tomas Tekle.
"Having the opportunity for Fortune 500 recognized power of Bank of America to visit our 5-year MBA program was a phenomenal experience, " said Jamal B. Bailey, 4th year 5-year MBA major. "The representatives shared great insight of their growth and development throughout their tenure and presented the inner workings of a company which consists of ample growth/promotional opportunity as well as an interest in a high level of diversity."
"We gained an understanding for the inner workings of Bank of America and how they value their customers," said Clarke LeGrand, 3rd year MBA Major. "Bank of America really wants to focus on improving customer relations because they want to be the kind of bank that grows with its customers from college all the way to buying our first house." 

- Matthew A. White 

Monday, February 16, 2015

HU Welcomes BET's The Book of Negroes' Star to Campus

HU Welcomes BET's The Book of Negroes' Star to Campus

Hampton University and BET presented an early screening of BET’s newest mini-series “The Book of Negroes,” starring Aunjanue Ellis, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Louis Gossett, Jr. on February 4 in Ogden Hall. Leading actress Ellis answered questions in a panel discussion following the screening.

Audience had very thought-provoking questions for Ellis during the Q&A afterwards.
The mini-series, based on Lawrence Hill’s novel, “Someone Knows My Name,” tells the dramatic journey and life of Aminata Diallo (played by Ellis), a young West African girl, abducted from her village and sold into slavery in South Carolina. It further shares a side of history that many people are unaware of.

“Our understanding of [Black] participation in the Revolutionary War begins and ends with Crispus Attucks being the first to die on the American side,” said Ellis, “but this series captures the stories behind Blacks fighting on the British side during the War for Independence and then being promised freedom and safe passage to Nova Scotia.”

Such history is voided in many textbooks and classrooms, and it is imperative that we learn of these stories beyond slavery, and get a better grasp of “Black History being a World History.”

"Our history isn’t just something to put on a document or in a photograph on the wall," said Ellis, the SAG-award winning actress for her role in “The Help,” “but it is something that we need to live by and forever learn from.”
Ellis posses with good friend Dr. Charrita Danley, HU Executive Assistant
to the President, and HU President Dr. William R. Harvey.

The mini-series is different from most slave narratives because it is told from a woman’s perspective—and one that can easily be described as a feminist.

Ellis describes her character Aminata Diallo as both a revolutionist and feminist, especially the jaw dropping moment when she stands up to then-president George Washington about slavery, leaving him utterly speechless.

“Aminata embodied both a feminist and revolutionist at the same time and that is something very powerful for us to recognize,” said Ellis. “Those two concepts are nothing new and definitely did not start in the 60’s, but a lot sooner than we were taught to believe.”

A celebration of black love (1783) showcased during the series, is something Ellis finds pride in because it shows a black man and black woman loving each other shamelessly.

Ellis believes the series will create controversial opinions and statements, but “you should never shy away from controversy because it invites dialogue and feeds an intense curiosity to understand the actual facts,” she said.

Students and staff pose for a picture with Ellis on Ogden Hall's stage.
“The Book of Negroes” is an actual hand-written document that listed Black passengers leaving New York to Nova Scotia on British ships in 1783. It gave their name, age, physical descriptions, and status of being freed or slave. Aminata was commissioned to write it.

During the Q&A, Ellis was asked how she viewed the similarity and difference between this series and other shows like Scandal and Empire.

“I celebrate the success of those shows along with their creators and actors because it’s entertaining and fun, but those shows don’t do what this series does,” said Ellis. “This isn’t to say that they aren’t relevant or valuable, instead I am saying that there is space for all of it, but we have to demand it. It’s our responsibility.”

Slavery is a dark chapter, but Aminata’s triumph over adversity and not drowning in everything that she was exposed to will allow viewers to learn about an untold side of history that they can grow from in addressing today’s modern struggles.

“The Book of Negroes” premieres on BET Monday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. EST.

-Gianina Thompson

Friday, February 13, 2015

HU Memorial Church named to Most Beautiful Wedding Venues on College Campuses list

 HU Memorial Church named to Most Beautiful Wedding Venues on College Campuses list

Ricardo '11 and Whytnee '11 Silva made it official in the Chapel on June 23, 2014. 
Are you planning your wedding? Well, do we have the perfect venue for you - our very own "Chapel." The Hampton University Memorial Church was recently named one of the 50 Most Beautiful Wedding Venues on College Campuses by College Ranker. Just in time for Valentine’s Day the list was released with HU alums shaking their heads in agreement - cause we all brag about our beautiful campus.

On Dec. 3, 2011, Andre Mason '07 and Ciara Mason '08 said "I do" in the 
Memorial Church.
College Ranker looked at historical appeal, external and internal architectural features and accommodations were the biggest weighted factors, with additional consideration given to natural beauty of surroundings. 

Naima (Gethers) Ford ’07 and her hubby Lawrence Ford tied the knot in the Memorial Church on July 28, 2012.

The Memorial Church better known as “The Chapel” sits on the beautiful waterfront making it the perfect backdrop for any occasion or wedding (or a proposal). The elaborate building was designed by New York architect J.C. Cady in 1886 with an Italian-Romanesque structure that features a 150 ft. tower and four-faced illuminated clock.

Garnell T. Scott Jr. '09 and Nicquita (Reed) Scott '10 exchanged rings in the Memorial Church on Sept. 29, 2012.
The Memorial Church is used as college sanctuary for non-denominational religious services.  It  is one of six National Historic Landmarks on campus. The pews are made of yellow pine and were built by Hampton trade-school students. Carved African-American and Native-American faces adorn the trim throughout the chapel.
Donovan Rose '79 and Sylvia Woody Rose '81 have a true Hamptonian love story and were married in the Memorial Church.

Today the Memorial Church is open to all persons who wish to exchange nuptials in the historic site. Alum we want to hear from you! Did you meet your wife or hubby at Hampton? Did you tie the knot in the Memorial Church? We want to know! Join in on the conversation.

- Daisha Roberts '15