A statue of Mr. Alonzo “Jake” Gaither was erected outside of the gymnasium named after him.
The ceremony took place before the FAMU vs. Southern game, Saturday.
If you think about what he meant to this university and to the people who knew him, you wonder how he and other pioneers of this university would react to the things going on around FAMU right now.
FAMU is going through a huge transition. In December, President Frederick Humphries will step down from his position, ending a 16-year tenure. His replacement is still in limbo and the candidates aren’t too promising.
Since the signing of the One Florida Initiative, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his older brother President George W. Bush have said there is no more need for historically black colleges and universities since there is now an “equal playing field.”
That’s bull, we know this.
So, being that there is less and less concern for HBCUs, there have been many rumors that FAMU may converge with FSU. FAMU alumni stand strong on their position that it will never be. However, our current university president does seem to leave a trail. Before taking presidency at FAMU, Humphries was president of Tennessee State University.
During and before Humphries’ tenure, TSU was an HBCU, and now it’s….well, not.
Art Collins and the board of trustees are using a search firm to select an interim and permanent president for FAMU.
From a list of nine potential candidates, six are white, one Native-American, one black female and one black male.
FAMU pioneers put a lot of time and energy into making this university what it is. Though a transition does mean changing things, it does not give merit to the foundation that many worked so hard to build.
-Antione Davis for the Editorial Board