Hampton U. President Donates Money to Raise School’s Minimum Wage

William R. Harvey and his wife, Norma, donated $108,403 to the school to support a wage increase for the 121 permanent, full-time staff members working for less than $9 an hour.

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William R. Harvey

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President Obama wasn't the only president who offered a bump in pay for some workers. Hampton University's president donated $108,403 to the school to support a wage increase for the 121 permanent, full-time staff members currently working for less than $9 an hour, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

William R. Harvey and his wife, Norma, who also own the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Houghton, Mich., increased pay for staff at the private, historically black university in Hampton, Va., to a minimum of $9 an hour. The increase mainly effects housekeepers, maintenance staff members and cafeteria workers, the Chronicle reports.

“All of my life I have tried to look out for all of us, not just best of us, but all of us, and that’s the spirit me and my wife have utilized when we have given our money,” Harvey told the Chronicle.

Staff members can rest assured that the increase in pay will remain in place, as the donation will subsidize the raise until the end of the current fiscal year, after which the amount will be included into the university's budget.

The Chronicle notes that this isn't the first time the Harveys have stepped up to support wage increases for staff. In 2006, they donated $45,000 to support a 5 percent wage increase, and in 2011 the couple donated $166,000.

In the last 13 years, the Harveys have donated more than $2.3 million to the university.

"A loaf of bread costs them the same thing as it costs me, a carton of milk costs the same thing," Harvey told the Chronicle. "They are a member of our team, and I appreciate them, as does my wife."