For the first time ever Hampton University has a “Miss Hampton University” who is not black.
22-year-old Nikole Churchill was crowned Friday night during the annual pageant. She is a senior nursing major at Hampton University. Her mother is 100% Italian and her father is from Guam.
The vast majority of students at Hampton are black, so some worry Churchill won’t be able to represent the typical Hampton student.
“I think it will be challenging at first. Not just because she’s the first non black winner, but because she’s from the Virginia Beach campus,” said Parson. “Once that initial shock wears off, I do believe the students will come together and work with her.”
Churchill wrote a letter to President Obama in which she says her crowning has not been widely accepted on the HU campus due to her race. She invited the president to speak at the university on the topic of racial tolerance. – Reported by: Kristina Rohall
President Barack Obama
October 11, 2009
Aloha Mr. Obama!
My name is Nikole Churchill, a senior nursing major at Hampton University. This past Friday October 9, 2009, I was honored to be crowned Miss Hampton University 2009-2010. It truly was the best night of my life! With that being said, I am sad to say that my crowning was not widely accepted and many negative comments regarding my win have been shared throughout my campus.
It would be much easier to say that possibly some were not accepting of the news because I wasn’t the most qualified contestant; however, the true reason for the disapproval was because of the color of my skin. I am not African American. Despite the unfortunate beliefs that some are saying I should not have won, I am desperately trying to focus on those who believe in me and support me and my goal to represent this beautiful, multicultural campus the very best way that I can. I would love your help!
I am hoping that perhaps you would be able to make an appearance to my campus, Hampton University, so that my fellow Hamptonians can stop focusing so much on the color of my skin and doubting my abilities to represent, but rather be proud of the changes our nation is making towards accepting diversity. People are even nicknaming me, “lil Obama” because of various reasons. This is truly an honor as well!
I am also from Hawaii (Wahiawa) and I am hoping that you can assist me in opening some closed minds and help share some aloha spirit throughout my campus. I feel as though you could relate to my situation, which is why I immediately wanted to contact you. I was interviewed last night at the HU vs. HU football game by news channel 13 and I mentioned how individuals such as you and myself are making changes in hopes people can stop placing so much focus on our skin color by letting that define what we can, cannot, should, and/or should not do. Dr. Harvey welcomed me last night to the family with open arms and I was beyond honored when he told me that he is behind me 100%. I am proud to represent Hampton University and I am so proud having you to represent our home, our country. Your support with my crowning as Miss Hampton University 2009-2010 would be graciously appreciated. Please reply, I will be looking forward to it!
Statement from Miss Hampton University
Hampton, VA – I am honored to be the winner of the Miss Hampton University Pageant that was held on Friday, October 9, 2009. On Sunday, October 11, 2009 I posted a letter to President Obama saying that my win was not widely accepted on campus. I have now come to regret writing this letter and disappointing the very students that I now represent. I took the comments of a few and blew it out of proportion. In reality, all comments that have been directed towards me and the reception I received at the Hampton University versus Howard University football game on Saturday, October 10, 2009 were genuinely supportive. Today, I met with student leaders and other elected student officials and they were also supportive. Hampton University has always promoted diversity. In fact Hampton University pioneered American Indian education and has embraced diversity since its inception. I truly apologize to all students, faculty, staff and alumni. It was absolutely not my intention to bring negative attention to the University. I deeply apologize for any misunderstandings that this may have caused and I look forward to working with my fellow students to promote the Hampton University legacy.
Miss Hampton University 2009-2010
What are your thoughts?