Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Hampton University is a historically black university located in Hampton, Virginia. Hampton was founded in 1868 (chartered 1870) by Samuel C. Armstrong as Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, a land grant school in Elizabeth City County. It became Hampton Institute in 1930 and gained university status in 1984.
Hampton's colors are blue and white and their nickname is the Pirates. Hampton sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (I-AA for football) in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). In 2001, the Hampton basketball team won its first NCAA Tournament game, when they beat Iowa State 58-57, in one of the hugest upsets of all time.
Among the school's famous alumni is Dr. Booker T. Washington.
Typical of traditionally black colleges and universities, Hampton received much of its financial support in the years following the Civil War from former officers and soldiers in the Union Army. One of those Civil War veterans who gave substantial sums to Hampton University was General William Jackson Palmer, a Union cavalry commander from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who later built the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, and founded Colorado Springs, Colorado. As the Civil War began in 1861, although his Quaker upbringing made Palmer abhor violence, his passion to see the slaves free compelled him to enter the war. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery in 1894. Palmer Hall on the campus is named in his honor.
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