Convocation: Spirited end to first week of classes

The first week of classes ended with the President’s All-School Convocation, which ended up being a pep rally for students, faculty and other lovers of FAMU.

Among the speakers for the two-hour assembly, in which classes were suspended, were SGA President Virgil Miller and the keynote speaker President Fred Gainous.

“I urge you to get excited (about this year),” Miller said in an effort to get convocation and the school year off to a good start.

Miller went on to remind students of previous student bodies who were active in marching to the capital, stood up against Governor Jeb Bush’s “One Florida” plan, and petitioned against FAMU being named a three tier school. Miller then asked what the current student body would be remembered for.

A welcome to the University, the new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and urging good time and resource management were among the points that Gainous mentioned in his speech to Famuans.

“Every parent, without exception, wants you to do your best,” Gainous said. “Do nothing to embarrass yourself, your family, or FAMU.”

Gainous then went on to warn of the dangers of college life.

“Don’t let the Set be a priority,” Gainous said. “We don’t mail grades to the Set. The Set has never checked out a book.”

But excitement reigned in the air when Gainous announced the much anticipated net check date. He said refund checks, what he prefers to call net checks, will be received on or before Sept. 1.

Later in the program, Band Director Julian White thanked President Gainous for the new band uniforms. He also announced that the band will be featured in the November issue of Sports Illustrated.

Other speakers were SGA Vice President Keneshia Grant, Head Football Coach William “Billy” Joe and former journalism professor and author Charles Smith.

Smith and Gainous reminded the audience of FAMU’s Rattler pride and history.

“(You are) standing on the shoulders of young men and women who have made contributions to this community and this state,” Smith said, as he reminded the audience of previous student bodies who led the Tallahassee Bus Boycott and sat in at lunch counters.

“You are less than one generation away from when you could not go anywhere else (for college),” Gainous said.

Before the program’s conclusion, Coach Billy Joe spoke about the upcoming challenges of the football season.

“We’re not gonna cry, we’re gonna try,” Joe said. “We’re not gonna complain, we’re gonna train.”

To that Gainous said, “Have a great year Coach Billy Joe. Any old snake can bite… but, it takes a rattler to strike.”

Staff writer Lindsay Pollard contibuted to this report.

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