Rattler Stride, Rattler Pride: Creating One FAMU!
This was the theme of the 2002 Homecoming Convocation held in Gaither Gymnasium. Current and former Rattlers were encouraged to support their university with inspiring addresses from the speakers.
The convocation speaker, Josephus Eggelletion Jr., talked about the images he has seen as a commissioner of Broward County.
The 1971 FAMU graduate said the manipulation of images by the media has made blacks inferior and whites superior in the eyes of the public.
Those images are portrayed not only in common areas, but also in the rotunda of the nation’s capitol.
He commented on the pictures on the ceiling, which depict U.S. history without images of the slaves who helped construct the building.
He also spoke about the large pictures of Columbus as opposed to the small bust of Martin Luther King Jr.
“We must be concerned about images of our people,” Eggelletion said.
The commissioner said both black and white leaders have a moral responsibility to strike down the negative images the media portrays. He finished by stating, “We have the obligation and duty to dispel images that rape us of our success.”
The band along with the Concert, Gospel and Tallahassee Girls choirs performed a rendition of “Order My Steps.”
Student Government Association President Andre Hammel called for the crowd to go out and vote.
Hammel said people say they want to better FAMU, but they’re not voting.
They were very reactive after the 2000 Presidential Election, but only 300 people showed up to the rally Thursday night, he said.
Hammel also discussed the administration’s desire for students to pay fees on time, when the students are set back by limited parking near the facilities and a lack of good customer service campus-wide.
He not only incited the administration to take action, but also the student body.
“(You need) to come to town hall meetings and express your feelings,” Hammel said. “It’s all in your mind, I know we can make these changes.”
Following Hammel were Mr. and Miss FAMU, Marion Slaton and Hope Hampshire.
They said people were given two eyes to see ahead not backward, two ears to hear both positive and negative and only one tongue because of its dangerous capabilities. Hampshire and Slaton encouraged everyone to “talk less and listen more.”
National alumni president Carolyn Collins, of the class of 1973, greeted FAMU with an invitation to the football game because “it’s a new game in town.”
She said success is not measured by one’s position on a team, one must play on despite obstacles and always fight back.
SGA presented President Gainous with a resolution welcoming him back to FAMU.
To close the program, President Gainous presented a plaque to Collins as a token of appreciation. The band played FAMU’s alma mater as the crowd slowly exited the gym.