During spring break in April, I went on the Hinesville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority college tour trip with my memaw. The HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) trip involved visiting Hampton University, Howard University and places around Washington, D.C.
Gwen Starr, the college tour coordinator for the Deltas, said the purpose of the tour was to expose high school students with an interest in attending college to campus life and the numerous opportunities that are available at historically black colleges and universities.
Starr said this is the fifth year the sorority has been blessed to transport the children to various college campuses, where they have been greeted and afforded the opportunity to hear from professors, students, directors, ambassadors and some former Liberty County natives.
We left Hinesville early Thursday morning. I really didn’t know the other students on the bus, so I was a bit uncomfortable. The first stop was at Hampton University and members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity gave us a tour of the university. Hampton is a very nice college — it was cold, but I enjoyed it.
We saw statues of Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglas and also the Emancipation Oak. The Kappas made it so much better when they did their little fraternity dance thing at the end of the tour. I got to thinking that when I get older, I might date someone in a fraternity.
The food stops were great, especially when we went to Golden Corral. That’s when I started to become friends with my roommate. When I initially found out I was sleeping in the same room with complete strangers, I was kind of uncomfortable. The crazy part is I became very much acquainted with my roommates.
On Thursday evening after we left Golden Corral, we went on the Colonial Williamsburg lantern tour. Now mind you, it was at night and was very cold. Our lantern tour guide did a very good job, but some were ready to get back on the bus just because of how cold it was.
The next morning, we got on the road and headed to the capital of the United States. Our first stop was Howard University. When I say Howard is beautiful, it is. I was so amazed when I got there.
We did some touring and saw a film documentary about the history of Howard University. We ate with the college students in the cafeteria, and there were a lot of campus events going on that day.
After we left Howard, we went to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It was so beautiful inside – that was the highlight of my trip. I took a lot of pictures and learned some new things. There is so much history in this museum.
After we left, I started to feel a lot better about the trip. On Friday night, we went bowling at Pinstripes in Georgetown. We had fun bowling and eating pizza.
Saturday morning, we visited the Jefferson Memorial and the MLK Monument. I took pictures by the MLK Monument. We then went to the White House, where we took more pictures in front of the White House gates. Our very last stop was the Pentagon Mall, where we ate lunch. The mall was great, even though I only went to one store because we only had an hour there.
Starr said the vision for next year could lead us to visit campuses in the great states of Alabama, Tennessee or Kentucky. She said they have visited institutions of higher learning in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The tours have helped more than 20 participants locate the right campus to pursue higher education.
As the trip came to an end, I really enjoyed it. Overall, the trip was a great success. During the bus ride, our Kelly Bus tour guide Dwight Newbould gave us information about different sites we would visit and asked us if we knew the names of famous Howard University graduates. Thurgood Marshall and Chadwick Boseman, who was a Black Panther, are graduates. Now, if a Black Panther graduated from there, then the school has to be awesome.
We watched Spike Lee’s movie about HBCUs while on the bus. We also received little pep talks from Ashanti Branch, a recent Hampton University graduate who went to school in Liberty County, and Mauri Hill, an assistant federal public defender in Washington, while we were on the bus. Hill’s aunt was one of the Delta’s chaperones.
I wouldn’t mind going again next year, especially if we can get Mr. Mayo as our bus driver again.