At the first schoolwide gathering of the year, President Fred Gainous was recognized as more than just the leader of the university.
It was an event to honor dream-builders, both past and present. In his introduction of the president, Larry Robinson, provost and vice president for academic affairs characterized President Fred Gainous as “the 9th dream-builder of Florida A&M University.”
“He dreamed about FAMU being a point of access to your dreams,” Robinson said.
Robinson was referring to Gainous’ belief that FAMU is a way for students to realize their dreams.
Gainous also joined James Corbin, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, in acknowledging the 7th president of FAMU.
“We would not be here if it were not for Walter Smith,” Corbin said. Smith is recognized by many as the man chiefly responsible for a period of unprecedented growth at FAMU. Under president Smith the university grew to eleven schools and colleges and also added a division of graduate studies.
Hoping to inspire his own period of growth, Gainous pointed to FAMU’s recent move to Division 1-A as the beginning growth for the university.
“Our move to Division 1-A is a growth process for the whole university,” Gainous said. “The move is about the improvement of recruitment, retention and matriculation of students at FAMU.”
Gainous also warned audience at the convocation to be cautious of people who are not friends of the university. He issued a challenge to anyone that would threaten the universities continued growth.
“As a little fellow down on the corner use to say, if you want it come take it.”
Apologizing to students for the virus that forced the computers to go down throughout campus the first two weeks of school, Gainous said that administration would do better. He also said they would eliminate the statement ‘I’m sorry, we have lost your paperwork.’ The president noted however, the burden of responsible behavior wasn’t only that of campus administration but that of students as well.
Pointing to the fact that the university has over $5 million in unpaid student loans Gainous warned that any students who had not paid their fees by Sept. 23 would be canceled from class.
Gainous said the administration has an obligation to teach the students at the university to honor their commitments. His remarks also cautioned students about coming to school for the wrong reasons.
“Students let me remind you, the Set has never enrolled in a class. The Set does not have an academic advisor. The Set does not have a GPA.”
Members of Friday’s, president’s convocation speaking panel took the opportunity to acknowledge a past leader of the school, the current president of FAMU.