(Special to CNC) / HU-Hampton, VA – “It is with immense pride and joy that we mark this momentous occasion in the rich history of Hampton University,” said President Williams. “We unveil the Dr. Roland M. Carter stage in our esteemed Ogden Hall. This stage was once graced by the likes of the Count Basie Orchestra, Maya Angelou, Ozzie Davis and Rubie Dee to the cinematic brilliance of Spike Lee. This stage has been a campus for cultural excellence.” The Alvin Ailey dance theater and the Virginia Symphony have recently graced the stage, along with the critically acclaimed Taraji P. Henson, and countless others.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Carter conducted a portion of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” with the HU Choir, with students and alumni performing, and was recognized as the 2024 Presidential Citizenship Award recipient, received an honorary doctorate degree and watched in awe at the unveiling of the Dr. Roland M. Carter stage in Ogden Hall.
“Dr. Roland M. Carter has given unselfishly, to enrich the lives of those around him and to improve our collective community, and the world,” said President Williams. “He has made significant contributions to our community and to all humanity.”
President Williams referred to Carter as the “great, modern Hampton maestro,” having “impacted the lives of thousands with his work, drawing crowds to immerse themselves in unforgettable musical experiences, elevating the HU Minister’s Conference Choir Guild’s performances to captivating heights for over 40 years,” in addition to serving 25 years of leadership to HU.
Having received innumerable honors and awards from schools and institutions across the country, Carter, an HU alumnus class of ‘64, explained that these awards from Hampton, moved him differently, citing lyrics from the HU alma mater. “No one can ever know, to come full circle and be home [and be honored]. ‘O Hampton, we never can make thee a song, except as our lives do the singing.’”