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Vice President Kamala Harris visits Hampton University

Harris toured part of the campus and spent time talking to students. She was at the school to recognize contributions of HBCUs to STEM fields.

HAMPTON, Va. — When Madison Stampley woke up Friday morning, picking out her day's outfit carried a different weight. 

“When I was getting dressed this morning, I was like, 'I'm getting dressed to go talk to the Vice President,'" Stampley told 13News Now.

Stampley is a junior pursuing a degree in chemical engineering from Hampton University. 

Vice President Kamala Harris travelled to Hampton University to celebrate National HBCU Week, hosting a roundtable discussion with STEM students from the university. The visit, the first time to Hampton Roads since taking office, highlighted the contributions of Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCU), as well as minorities in STEM fields. 

Harris, a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., has long been a supporter of HBCU education.

“The best environment in this age of your life and development, is an environment that says to you 'All of these things are who you are and we applaud them,'" she said to the roundtable of students.

The White House originally announced her visit to Hampton on Wednesday. Harris was greeted by Mayor Donnie Tuck and U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria when she landed in Hampton Roads.

“How can we think about what this means to create jobs? What does that mean for our education system?" Harris asked. 

Inside, students shared with Harris the STEM work they are accomplishing both inside and out the classroom. All six were chosen by the university, and had only been informed of the VP's visit two days before her arrival. 

“The Vice President, the most powerful woman in the world, you can take a picture but we have a 45 minute video," Amanda Harvey laughed, a junior pursuing a career in pharmacy.

“It is my pleasure to welcome U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris to 'Our Home By the Sea.' I would like to thank the White House for its acknowledgment of the importance of HBCU students and graduates to the American workforce,” Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey said.