Interim President Castell V. Bryant announced Friday during convocation that the National Science Foundation for Research and Technology gave the university a $5 million grant.
The President’s Convocation, which started at 3 p.m. Friday, was held in he newly air-conditioned Gaither Gymnasium.
“Despite the headlines, we are still No. 1 (and), FAMU is pressing on,” said mistress of ceremonies Monique Gillum said as she greeted the attendees in her opening presentation.
The crowd welcomed Bryant to stage in a standing ovation. Bryant’s message to the student body reflected on the changes that have been made since the beginning of hertime in office.
In her speech, she said that normally at this convocation, net check announcements would be made, but most students already have their check in their bank accounts.
Among other improvements that were mentioned were better customer service, shorter lines in the Office of Financial Aid, the renovation of Diamond Hall, 40 new faculty members and the recently appointed nursing, education and business deans.
“And that’s all for you students,” Bryant said, telling students the university would renew its services by remaining true to its goal of delivering “excellence with caring.”
Marching 100 Band Director Julian White pleaded to the attendees on behalf of the band saying, “These are my children, and we all know they made a mistake. But we ask for your forgiveness; we will continue to make you proud.”
The band also introduced a new spirit song to the audience. As the crowd shouted, “Rattlers, show us your green,” the atmosphere of the convocation changed.
People were jumping out of their seats, enjoying the music and appreciating that they were from FAMU.
Toward the end of convocation, attendees’ spirits were up, and the whole audience was dancing and singing as if it was a homecoming celebration.
But some students wanted to know whether future convocations would continue to be on Fridays or if convocations were going back to Thursdays at 11 a.m. “I don’t know; I just don’t know,” Gillum said.
Students left the convocation inspired and hopeful that the spirit of FAMU will return very soon in all of its glory.
“If anything, it is the hottest I have seen in a long time. We are excited; it is a high time in FAMU’s history,” said Jonathon Arias, a fourth-year food science and psychology student from Miami.
Gillum, the current student body vice-president, thought convocation was amazing.
“I think it was more than a success,” Gillum said. “It was a feeling that I really can’t express. They told us that no one would come, but they did and they stayed after.”