In 2000, Corey Alston along with three other Student Government Association leaders led 3,000 Rattlers in a march to the capitol.
There, Alston and the other student leaders (including current commissioner Andrew Gillum) addressed their concerns to Gov. Jeb Bush about components of the “One Florida Initiative.” Ironically, six years later, Alston finds himself being appointed to the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees by the same governor.
Alston, 28, is the youngest appointed BOT member not part of an SGA in Florida history.
However, Alston doesn’t find his age to be a problem.
“I think that being a recent grad is an advantage. I can bring the perspective of someone who lived through FAMU’s recent glory years,” said the 2002 runner-up in a high profile Florida Senate race at the age of 24.
“I was here when FAMU was named College of the Year, when National Achievement Scholar recruitment was flourishing, and when morale from all FAMU stakeholders was sky high. I want that back,” Alston added.
Alston is one of only four FAMU alumni that currently serve on the BOT.
Other members are happy about Alston being the new kid on the block.
“Alston will do the BOT good. He will have a great impact on the board,” said David Griffin, a member of the FAMU BOT.
Alston, a 2000 School of Business and Industry MBA graduate, was elected class president for three consecutive years while at FAMU. He then served as a graduate senator and Pan-Hellenic Council president. He also is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and Pompano Masonic Lodge No. 409.
After graduating, Alston worked for five years as a corporate turnaround specialist for McKinsey & Company, an international business-consulting firm.
Alston plans to use those skills he gained in turning around nearly a dozen Fortune 500 companies to aid the BOT.
“I want to apply my skills working in the corporate world to the university,” Alston said.
Today, Alston spends a great deal of his time developing affordable housing communities in four different U.S. cities through his real estate development company, Foundation One. He has continued to give back to the university even after his tenure at FAMU.
“Last year, Corey made a five-figure contribution to the School of Business and Industry,” says SBI Professor Norman Johnson.
“He also recently financed the development of SBI’s first website and frequently volunteers his time and access to corporate resources.”
Alston also has been active in the Chicago chapter of the FAMU National Alumni Association.
He acts as a mentor to his younger brother, Torey Alston, who is in the MBA Program and serves as a senior senator.
“He has always served as a role model,” said Torey. “I am very proud of my brother and it feels good to play a supportive role for such a major accomplishment.”
Alston said he is pleased with the substantial financial improvements that Interim President Castell V. Bryant has accomplished and looks forward to working with her and his fellow board members in a spirit of unity and collaborative effort.
“I want us to be unified in re-establishing stability and a positive national image. We must be supportive of each other and not divisive,” Alston said.
Overall, Alston is excited about being the newest member of the Board of Trustees and says he thanks all the alumni chapter presidents and community leaders who supported his candidacy.
Moreover, he appreciates the Governor, who made the historical appointment.
“I am thankful to everyone who has supported me,” said Alston. And while he is a registered Democrat, he openly admits that. “I am very grateful that a Republican governor demonstrated confidence in me and has given me a chance to serve my alma mater.”
Contact Stephanie Nickens at firstname.lastname@example.org