The research and development of the William Tucker story and the University has been ongoing over the past thirty years by William’s direct descendant granddaughter, the late Thelma Williams; many friends of the William Tucker Project; and the non-profit, Jobs Virginia Community Development Corporation (JVCDC). The university work and research have carried out under the leadership of Program Director, Shaun Brown who serves as the school’s first president.
Having served over a million meals to help eliminate child hunger in Virginia through the USDA summer food service program; created small business opportunities working with churches and community enterprises;
President Brown offers that the new school is an open university designed as a comprehensive eLearning solution for students in the neighborhoods that William lived and from around the world. Brown also notes that learners will have unrestricted university access 24/7, 365 days a year through the school’s proprietary learner management systems. “Our systems” states Brown, “will provide our future students with a seamless education capable of being addressed through any of today’s technology from iPhones to PC’s and everything else that can connect to the World Wide Web.”
William Tucker University has a unique mandate according to President Brown. “As a college we attribute its mission to the telling of the story of the young William Tucker and his family, the first Africans to set foot on American soil as a family to raise their son and generations of free Black people in America. She goes on to add, “They were on the high seas seeking to find a place to build their own kingdom to be called Excelsior, reaching for ’higher heights’: The first twenty odd Africans landed in 1619 in British North American or what is now the State of Virginia and the United States of America. Like those ‘refugees of war’ we are seeking to build a place and home for today’s students that reflects William Tucker’s family and their entrepreneurial spirit.
At a time when President Obama, the First Black American President in the United States of America has declared Fort Monroe, William’s birthplace, to be a National Monument; Brown comments that it is time that William’s story be told. We owe it to Thelma Williams, the world, all those that came before us and all future generations.