DLA director delivers keynote speeches at Hampton University

By Chris Erbe

DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell K. Williams delivered two keynote addresses at Hampton University, his alma mater, in Hampton, Virginia, May 11-12.

He spoke May 11 at the Hampton University Reserve Officer Training Corps Commissioning Ceremony, where he participated in the commissioning of seven “Pirate Battalion” cadets into the Army and four midshipmen from the Hampton Roads NROTC into the Navy.

“The commissioning ceremony marks an important, singular moment when the respective services pass the mantle of leadership to a new generation of young officers,” Williams said. “There is no greater demonstration of the trust of the nation than in its bestowal of an officer’s commission.”

Hampton University commissioned its first officers in 1948 and has since commissioned over 1,500 officers into the Army through its ROTC program.

Wet weather on May 12 forced the 149th Hampton University Commencement Ceremony indoors, but 6,000 attendees filled the university Convocation Center to cheer for the 920 graduates.

Williams congratulated the graduates and their families and then acknowledged the moms in the audience in honor of Mother’s Day.

“As I think about my own mother on this special day, I’m reminded that there’s no force on earth more powerful than a mother’s love,” he said before leading the crowd in a Mother’s Day cheer.

Williams then delivered an inspiring message, encouraging graduates to pursue their dreams with urgency, reject excuses, and stay true to their heritage, values and faith. He concluded by paying homage to his alma mater.

“I have come to realize that we Hampton University Pirates are all the same, only separated by time and space. As you leave today to carve out your destiny, you can rest assured that this university – located near the Hampton River and where the majestic Emancipation Oak stands, under which the first southern reading of the Emancipation Proclamation took place – has given you everything you need to be successful.”

Williams is a distinguished military graduate of the Hampton University ROTC Program and was commissioned into the Army Quartermaster Corps in 1983.