Welcome to the inaugural post of the HU Alumni Spotlight, a monthly series that aims to highlight the significant contributions of Hampton University alumni who continue to let their lives do the singing. This month we feature distinguished Hampton alumnus Calvin L. Butts, Jr ’02.
A thriving entrepreneur and active leader, Calvin Butts, Jr. is the new face of engaged Hampton alumni.
First Name: Calvin L.
Last Name: Butts, Jr.
Maiden Name (if applicable): N/A
Graduation Year: 2002
Class Name: Onyx 5
Major: MIS Management Information Systems
Graduate School Programs and Graduating Year(s):
Temple University Executive MBA Program 2013
Harvard Business School – Taking Marketing Digital
Harvard Business School – Emerging Issues in Health Care
Current Employer: Self-Employed
ConnectIN / CEO
CE Health Interactive /President
Intervid Media Solutions / Managing Partner
CB3 Holdings/ Chairman
MCE- Managing Partner
We asked Mr. Butts a series of questions to gain insight into his unique leadership perspective. His responses are below.
Why do you believe it is important for others to give back to Hampton?
It’s beyond important; a necessity more now then ever. Hampton is HOME, and you always protect HOME. Hampton for me provided my foundation for success. Hampton taught me how to network, how to socially adapt, and more importantly how to lead. Anything that is critical to who you are or have become, I believe you should support. I actually have a goal to become the largest donor in Hampton University history!
What advice would you give to an incoming freshman on maximizing their Hampton experience?
Start from the first moment on campus and look around. Embrace the fact that you are amongst the very best. While waiting to check into James Hall in 1998, I started a conversation with Jasper Beard from Danville, Virginia and later that day we walked to the café together. Since that day, Jasper and I have been the best of friends. Enjoy every activity and opportunity to get out of the dorm room to mingle, meet, and socialize. Build a network of those that have been on campus before you and those that come after you. Start supporting the school now and give back whatever you can comfortably afford.
What advice would you give to recent Hampton graduate and other young alumni?
Never underestimate your Hampton alumni network. I have several clients who are also Hampton Alumni and we did not know each other on the yard but now have become clients and good friends. People can lead you to more opportunity and there is no better icebreaker than talking about Our Home By the Sea.
What was the most important thing you learned while attending Hampton University?
Dream No Smalls Dreams, Buy Land and Invest, To be early is to be on time, and all the other great “Harveyisms.” Seriously, I would say brotherhood… my first year I developed friendships that have lasted for years. These same brothers all stood next to me at my wedding and we still all talk at least once a day. We have supported each other in the best and worst of times. We invest with each other, we stay active and are involved in each other’s careers, etc. I learned to utilize a brotherhood for strength, knowledge, comfort and support.
Detail your best college memory.
Meeting my future wife April Haston from Centerville, VA!
Why did you choose Hampton University?
My father was the team doctor for Savannah State and the entire town and family was convinced I was going to attend SSU. One of my best friends, William Elliot Stiles, is now a third generation Hamptonian. Dr. Carlton Brown left Hampton University as Provost and became President of Savannah State University. Hampton was just buzzing all around me and I had to learn more. Also, my dad was very interested in seeing me leave Savannah and offered to take me on a visit. We flew up and headed to campus. It was a Saturday and most of the buildings were locked and closed. We stopped in the Administration Building to use the restroom and the Dean of Admissions was working in his office. He invited us in and asked me a few questions: Why Hampton? What can Hampton do for you? What will you do for Hampton?
He then told me to swing back by later on that day after my tour. The tour was starting and so was a home game vs SCSU. My dad and I both being huge HBCU football fans had to see this game so we skipped the tour. I remember sitting in the stands and staring at the cheerleaders the entire game then I looked around in the stands and all the girls were beautiful. The waterfront reminded me of the Savannah intercoastal waterways. I said “Dad I really like it here.” He said “you don’t even know if you can get in.” We walked back over to the Administration building and it was locked. As we are pulling off we saw an envelope in the window with my name on it. Inside was my acceptance letter and dorm assignment. I was SOLD. I could not even breathe and control my excitement. I turned to my Dad and said “I need to know if you have your checkbook.” He asked “why?” I said “Please go ahead and write a check. This is it for me!”
If you could describe Hampton University in one word, what would they be and why?
Only one!?? Priceless- There is really no amount you can pay for the experience I had and continue to have, but I will try to put a number on it and then turn around and give it back.
What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
Martha’s Vineyard for many reasons. My kids love it up there and I recently purchased a vacation home with two other Hampton University alumni, Carrington Carter and Jeremiah Myers under a company we own and is marketed via our vacation home rental brand Get Away Society http://www.getawaysociety.com/
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
Breaking away from corporate America and proving to myself I can produce similar platforms and projects as the companies I once worked for under my own companies.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I really enjoy eating my kid’s fruit snacks and collect cars.
What are your hobbies and/or other interests?
Golf, Playing Basketball, and driving rare and exotic cars.