On her desk in the president’s mansion sits a framed letter.
The words that fill the page are appreciative and sincere.
The letter is from the mother of a band member who recently passed away. In it she thanks Madie Gainous, FAMU’s first lady, for her efforts to comfort her in her time of mourning.
This letter is not the first of its kind.
Gainous makes a point to be there for students, their parents and the FAMU community, no matter what the situation is.
This is just a few of many things she has done to live up to the motto “Creating one FAMU”.
Gainous, like her husband, graduated from FAMU in 1973. She received her degree in social work. The Monticello native is a mother of three and a grandmother. She is one half of the team that drives this university as she strives to work toward creating a strong, diverse and family oriented campus.
“I think it is my responsibility to be the eyes and the ears in a different category of the president and to have everyone on the campus feel that we are approachable,” she said.
Gainous often serves as a hostess to campus visitors, potential students, national organizations and government leaders.
During her husband’s first year in office, she has been active in many events and has brought several organizations to our campus.
She most recently hosted the Legislative Spouses and a reception for the newly elected mayor of Tallahassee, John Marks. She has also worked close with the student group, BETA, an organization for students who are parents and with Leonard Wesson Elementary School’s mentoring program.
One of Gainous’ main concerns is the well being of the student body. As a mother, she knows the importance of ensuring that students are safe and well taken care of.
“We want parents to feel they are trusting their young adults into the hands of people who are responsible, who appreciate them as their own sons and daughters,” she said.
One of the things Gainous enjoys most about being a part of the FAMU family, is the fact that she is right at home, in a place where her husband always dreamed of returning to, a place that she loves dearly.
“It is an institution that lives in the minds and hearts of the people and we have the responsibility to make sure this institution soars,” she said with a smile.
“To have been students here and to have others have faith and confide in you and put you at the helm of the university … it is electrifying and its something that you feel more then you are able to matriculate.”
Not only does Gainous serve as the first lady of this university and the wife of the president, she is a leader and a caretaker who has a strong partnership with the president.
“It is great to have the person you are married to with you, to be your best friend and your confidant and also the person you have the most fun with,” she said about working with the love of her life.
As Gainous looks forward to many great years of service at FAMU, she hopes t o continue to help with the growth of the school, the student body and the community.
To the students here at FAMU, who she holds so dear to her heart she wants them to know that nothing is impossible to accomplish.
“The key to whatever it is we are to become is our ability to express or fears our hopes our thoughts and our dreams.”