Hampton University Students Sitting on Campus Steps
220px Hampton University logoHampton University was founded in 1868 when Union General Samuel Armstrong opened the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute to educate freedmen after the Civil War. Over the course of the last 150 years, Hampton University has grown from a small trade school to one of the most prominent historically black colleges and universities in the United States. Hampton has set a high standard for HBCUs: the Pirates have won multiple conference titles in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and football, and Hampton students have changed the political and cultural landscape for millions of African-Americans. As we enter a new century, HU will continue to build on the legacy that its students, faculty, and staff have shaped for more than a century.

Quick Facts

Location: 11 Frissell Avenue Hampton, VA 23669
Phone: (757) 727-5000
Website: www.hamptonu.edu
Type: 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Motto: “The Standard of Excellence, An Education for Life”
Colors: Blue and White
Nickname: The Pirates

Key Information About Hampton University

Current Students

  • Enrollment: (As of Fall 2017) 4,619
  • Acceptance Rate: 65%
  • Percentage of Undergraduate Men: 32.34%
  • Percentage of Undergraduate Women: 67.66%
  • Countries Represented: 22
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 9:1

Student Life

  • Campus Events: Homecoming, Mister Pirate Pageant, Miss Hampton University Pageant, Hampton Founder’s Day Celebration, Black History Extravaganza, Spring-Fest, Battle of the States, and the Day of Giving
  • Greek Organizations: Yes
  • Mascot: Pirates
  • Athletic Association: NCAA Division I
  • Athletic Programs: Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Soccer, Lacrosse, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, and Sailing

Academic Programs

  • Hampton University is comprised of seven schools – Business, Engineering & Technology, Liberal Arts & Education, Nursing, Pharmacy, Science, and Journalism & Communications. They offer a combined total of 50 undergraduate programs, 26 masters degree programs, and 9 doctoral degree programs.
  • If you are looking for an alternative to a traditional degree program, Continuing Education and Professional Studies (CEPS) offers continuing education courses to Hampton University students.


hampton history

  • Hampton can trace its roots back to 1863 when the Union Army used government funds to help Mary Peake, a free black woman, teach students that had escaped from slavery.
  • On April 1, 1868, Samuel Armstrong opened the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute with the help of black and white leaders from the American Missionary Association.
  • By 1872, Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute was flourishing; the institution had become a source of hope and pride for African-American students throughout the United States.
  • In 1878, Hampton housed a group of Native American students that had been imprisoned at Fort Sill. The seventy men and women that arrived in Hampton, VA started a Native American education program at Hampton University that spanned more than 40 years.
  • In the 20th Century, Hampton expanded its curriculum to become a recognized HBCU. A Library Science School was established in 1924 and an extension program was launched in 1929 to reach students who were unable to come to campus. On July 1, 1930, Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute became Hampton Institute.
  • In 1984, after a nine-month study of Hampton Institute’s students, faculty and academic programs, the recommendation was made to change the HBCU’s name from Hampton Institute to Hampton University.


  • A large portion of Hampton University’s campus is a U.S. National Historic Landmark District. Some of Hampton’s most famous buildings are the Mansion House, Virginia Hall, Academic Hall, Wigwam, Cleveland Hall, Ogden, and Marquand Memorial Chapel.
  • There are currently six libraries under the Hampton University library structure, and four of them are located on Hampton University’s main campus.
  • The Hampton University College of Virginia Beach, which is located in the Virginia Beach Town Center, is a satellite campus that provides fully-accredited degree programs and professional certificates for HU students.

Notable Alumni

  • Booker T. Washington graduated from Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in 1875 and went on to become one of the most prominent African-American authors, educators, and orators of the 19th Century.
  • Wanda Sykes is an African-American actress, comedian, and writer. Sykes graduated in 1986, and over the course of her career as an entertainer, she has appeared on The Chris Rock Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Snatched, and Bad Moms.
  • Rick Mahorn graduated in 1980, where he was a three-time NCAA Division II champion and NAIA All-American. Mahorn built a successful career as an NBA player and coach before he became a co-host and radio analyst for SiriusXM NBA Radio.

Source: Hampton University

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