Clayton Virgil, W'97
You would walk through Steiny-D or across campus and say hello to all the black students. You would stop us on the Walk and I know that’s how we probably met. I wasn’t one of your LEAD students but I always felt like one. You frequently checked up on me and the others, making sure we had what we needed to survive. When you showed up to Black Wharton activities, you shared sage advice with your kids on how to navigate the choppy waters of campus life and beyond. While I heard snippets and gained little nuggets of knowledge along the way, others received the blueprint for success at the school and in life in general.
You were a champion for Black folks on campus, giving so much of your energy to make sure we all had a fighting chance while preparing us to deal with the world beyond Locust Walk. You saw unlimited potential in all of us, even when there were times when we may have struggled or questioned our mere existence on the campus of one of the world’s most storied institutions. You were tough on us because you wanted us all to strive and achieve greatness; at the same time, you were a caring father who unconditionally loved all of us black Penn students, whether or not you knew our names.
To read Clayton Virgil's entire tribute to Hask, please click here.