My uncle sent this text:
Hampton University‘s women’s soccer team played its first match ever Friday evening. My niece scored the first and only goal. A New Jersey high school soccer phenom, she’s elected to run track in college. When she got to campus though, she walked onto the fledgling team. And immediately upped their game.
I don’t know how many fans cheered on the Pirates Friday. They’re new. They played a ways off campus. Classes haven’t even started yet. I do know, however, that there was a contingent of at least seven beaming and screaming and high-fiving — my father, my mother, my aunt, my uncles, my sister and my brother-in-law. They’d all have been super-proud of Sydney anyway, but those last six? They’re Hampton graduates. All five of my grandparents’ children went to Hampton. And my grandparents themselves? They met while students on campus. As did my sister and her husband. (Sydney’s dad and his twin are graduates.) My grandfather’s sister went to Hampton. So did her granddaughter. And two of my first cousins. And that’s just on my mother’s side. My father’s sister and her daughter have Hampton degrees, too. And more cousins, besides.
So forgive us if our chests are still puffed. I didn’t even go to the school, and I’m delirious with pride. This fourth-generation Hamptonian is not only carrying on a family legacy, but is making her own mark. And I’ve no doubt that she’ll tally equal success in the classroom.
Before my grandmother passed in February 2010 at age 101, she was the oldest living Hampton graduate. If only she could have been in the stands Friday.
My grandmother on Hampton’s campus, circa 1928.