The selection of Col. Michael A. Calhoun, a Florida A&M graduate, to command the 50th Area Support Group of the Florida National guard, comes after many years of striving for excellence.Calhoun graduated from the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1976 with a bachelor of science in pharmacy. He then enrolled in the first Battalion, 265th Air Defense Artillery in 1977 and worked through the ranks up to his current position as the Commander, 211th Regiment, Regional Training Institute-Florida. According to the 50th Area Support Group website, HHC50asg.com, the 50th Area Support Group provides Title 10 logistics to the Theater, Life Support and Command and Control of Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration Nodes for Joint Forces in the Theater of Operations. They were deployed to Kuwait in 2004.His level of achievement has garnered pride and admiration from students and faculty alike. According to Henry Lewis III, the dean and professor of the FAMU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, his achievement and service are a model for all COPPS students.“Col Calhoun’s service to our nation has been exemplary,” said Lewis. “Within the college, we strive every day to make noticeable differences in the communities that we serve like Col. Calhoun has done in the National Guard. His example typifies what we seek to instill in all graduates from the College.”Jonathan Brown, 22, a senior pharmacy student from Titusville, Fla., said he was impressed with his achievement and saw his story as a testament to the quality of education that FAMU and the COPPS can offer.“Its good to see a FAMU alumni in a position of power in government,” Brown said. “The fact that he’s a pharmacy graduate is something I can take pride in.”And Brown was not the only pharmacy student who saw this achievement as a testament to the quality of education FAMU has to offer. Shannon Belser, 23, a senior pharmacy student from Atlanta, said Col. Colhoun’s story as a walking example of the FAMU education.“It shows you that FAMU prepares you for any avenue or venture you will go to in life,” Belser said. “Also, it shows that our school is able to provide everyone with the knowledge to go out in the world and achieve, as he has.”Brown and Belser were also happy to see a story showing positive achievement from FAMU students.“Its good for FAMU graduates to do big things like this to give a positive image for FAMU,” Brown said.Belser felt that it helped FAMU’s image.“Its a positive image to counter so much negativity about FAMU,” Belser said.Pharmacy students were not the only ones who took pride in his story. James Seay, 22, a junior criminology student from Jacksonville, who is also a member of Army ROTC, saw this story as an inspiration to cadets at FAMU.“It shows that with hard work you can get to where he is. Cadets often think you have to go to West Point to get to these kinds of positions, but his education was at FAMU,” Seay said. “Someday I hope to be where he is.”
Calhoun will assume the command of the 50th ASG on April 25, 2010.