"I am here to declare
that there is more to this University than the world might think, and our calling to greatness is within our reach."
- Dr. David Hall
Dr. David Hall, at far left, is
introduced at the inaugural
ceremony by his son Rahsaan.
Dr. David Hall was installed as the fifth President of the University of the Virgin Islands on Saturday, March 6, 2010, during a memorable ceremony at the University's Reichhold Center for the Arts on St. Thomas.
Dr. Hall, who took office on Aug. 1, 2009, donned his blue and white UVI presidential vestments on Saturday with the assistance of Alexander A. Moorhead, chair of the University's Board of Trustees.
The installation ceremony included salutations from students and colleagues who recounted Dr. Hall's significant academic achievements and the influence he has had on their lives.
"I've known Dr. Hall to personally contact a student to follow up on a problem brought to his attention," said Jaedee Caines, president of the University's Student Government Association on St. Thomas. "And don't let his height fool you - Dr. Hall is one of the most approachable people here at UVI."
Dr. David Hall, at
expresses his vision for the
University of the Virgin Islands
at his installation on March 6, 2010.
It was the personal touches - a special poem written by Chicago State University professor, poet and personal friend Haki Madhubuti and a musical tribute by Northeastern University Professor Leonard Brown - that gave the evening its transcendent quality.
As he looked out into the audience, President Hall noted the presence of family and friends - supporters from many stages in his life - whose attendance gave the evening a special significance.
"Words have not been created that capture the joy that the presence of all of these individuals creates within my heart," he said.
"I am blessed to be the President of UVI and to build upon the wonderful foundation that my predecessors and so many others have constructed. Since the start of my presidency I have asked the University of the Virgin Islands to dream with me; to set our sights on something that transcends our present reality and limitations. Therefore, the theme we have embraced for this inauguration and for my presidency is 'The Quest for Greatness'."
Since being appointed President at the University of the Virgin Islands, Dr. Hall has worked to strengthen the partnership between the University and the Virgin Islands Department of Education and other educational leaders in order to ensure that all students within the territory are able to reach their full educational potential.
He has begun a Male Initiative at UVI, working with enrolled male students, alumni and men in the community to increase the number of men entering and earning degrees from the University of the Virgin Islands. In addition, Dr. Hall's presidency has ushered in an era of transparency and inclusiveness with the institutional adoption of seven management values, which are geared to the attainment of the University's desired expectation of becoming a great University.
Additionally, Dr. Hall has been instrumental in developing a University-wide retention effort and has endeavored to ensure that shared governance is a reality.
"There are those who do not expect the University of the Virgin Islands to be a leader in educational innovation and excellence," he said in his inaugural speech. "They are impressed with our beautiful location, our sandy beaches, our warm weather and turquoise waters. But I am here to declare that there is more to this University than the world might think, and our calling to greatness is within our reach."
Born in Savannah, Georgia, Dr. Hall holds a bachelor's degree from Kansas State University, where he was named an "all American" for his athletic and scholarly accomplishments. After graduating from Kansas State, he played professional basketball in Italy. He earned a master's degree and a juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, and an LL.M. degree and doctorate of juridical science from Harvard Law School.
Dr. Hall was the first African-American dean of the Northeastern University School of Law. He went on to be appointed Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Northeastern.
He succeeds Dr. LaVerne E. Ragster who was appointed the fourth
President of the University of the Virgin Islands in 2002.
UVI's fifth President
Dr. David Hall, left,
and Chair of the UVI
Board of Trustees
Mr. Alexander A. Moorhead