Over 500 professionally dressed people gathered in the Leon County Civic Center to celebrate the inauguration of Florida A &M University’s tenth president, James H. Ammons.
Students and alumni sat quietly listening to government officials, FAMU faculty and staff give accolades to the university and to president Ammons.
“On behalf of the 185,000 citizens of the city of Tallahassee, we are honored to support you, as you help to make our community stronger and better by taking Florida A&M University to our heights, heights unseen before,” said Tallahassee Mayor John Marks. “Dr. Ammons, congratulations to you, congratulations to your family and congratulations to this wonderful institution of higher learning.”
The speakers congratulated him on his recent success and vowed to continue to work together to ensure the continuation of the legacy of the university’s motto, “excellence with caring.”
“Dr. Ammons and fellow alumni, I plan to do everything in my power as a leader in the Florida Senate to continue the support of the university,” said Florida Legislature member, Alfred Lawson Jr. “We take great pride in what we have accomplished for the president and for the university. And also sincere congratulations for greater success in the years ahead
The crowd showed its approval through thunderous applauses and hand-striking rattler motions. Each speaker discussed their gratitude and acceptance of president Ammons, but the speeches of North Carolina General Assembly member H.M. “Mickey” Michaux, President of Fort Valley State University, Larry E. Rivers and FAMU’s eighth president, Frederick S. Humphries, sent the crowd into extreme laughter and standing ovations.
Michaux elated the crowd with his jokingly manners of how North Carolina A&T, transformed Ammons from a Rattler to an eagle.
“My friends, James embodies what I have always thought was a creed that all of us surprised,” Michaux said. “And I think it carries out what this institution means to him, what life means to him. James, this you have done.”
President Humphries discussed the duties of a president and how Ammons has fulfilled some of his duties within a year time span. He reminded the crowd that they must be vigilant and allow nothing to happen to their alma mater.
His powerful speech about the importance of fighting for our university had the crowd on their feet in unison.
Ammons acknowledged that the university is prudent due to the work of President Humphries and how the students of FAMU are like no other. He also expressed his gratitude of the support and respect that he has received from the university and the community.
“Students you have a legacy of leadership and courage that I applaud, you must pledge to extend this legacy to the next generation of students,” Ammons said. “You can’t afford to wait, the future started yesterday and we’re already late.”
Ammons listed several tasks that he plans to fulfill while president at FAMU, which will strengthen the university. He explained how the university prepared him for this day and how as a whole we must work together because it will require work.
He also reassured the audience that the university will continue the rich legacy of commitment, courage, power and excellence.
“With these symbols of office I plan to lead FAMU where it has never gone before. FAMC yesterday, FAMU today, FAMU forever,” Ammons said.