For the past few years it seemed there has rarely been a positive reflection of FAMU.
I was a freshman in 2004 and year after year financial problems haunted the reputation of our school.
Then the May 2007 SACS decision created uncertainty for every Rattler.
Throughout the years, we have overcome any obstacle that the university has met. We have faced scandals and have heard broadcast reports with headlines like “Fiscal Fiasco at FAMU.”
We, along with outsiders, have read comments in publications from former disgruntled interim presidents giving FAMU students a rating of two. It has been a long journey since my freshman year.
But from what I see, FAMU is improving. There is a renewed spirit in the air.
It began with President James Ammons’ first summer semester which began in July of 2007.
That fall he promised things would change for the better.
He said he would fix the probation status for the colleges and schools affected. He said FAMU’s finances would be corrected.
For a year, as a University, we held on. We waited.
Month after month, President Ammons brought us closer to the positive reputation he encouraged and optimistic atmosphere we needed.
A year later, those promises have come to fruition.
The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication are fully accredited.
SACS even lifted the probationary status this July. And every cent of the university’s money is accounted for.
While Ammons checked off each item on a long list of issues, the students of FAMU continued to prove why you cannot numerically rate a Rattler.
Let me tell you why.
It is because we are still voted the number one producer of African American baccalaureate degrees. It is because we are still placing more and more School of Business and Industry students at internships on Wall Street. It is because we are still receiving grants that increase research for the College of Pharmacy.
Shall I go on? I could but I won’t.
All of this happened within one year of Ammons’ arrival.
There is no way anyone could rate the students at this university.
Because we are simply off the charts.
The inauguration for President James Ammons begins on Oct. 31
Why a year later you ask?
Because President Ammons came into his Lee Hall office with his sleeves rolled up. He was ready to work and clean up the mess that was left behind. We should celebrate and welcome Ammons into his well-deserved leadership position because with patience and steadfastness FAMU is back on track.
My mother always told me that patience is a virtue.
But there is one more thing that I have learned from the Ammons administration that must also be considered. While you are waiting patiently, you have to strike, strike and strike again. So enjoy today’s convocation and rejoice because the old FAMU shall and has returned.
A’sia Horne-Smith is a senior broadcast journalism student from DeLand, Fla. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.