Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, founded on October 3, 1887 celebrates the 123-year legacy of its founders. FAMU was founded by Thomas V. Gibbs and Thomas D. Tucker, two brave men who saw the need to educate young black men and women.
The Founder’s Day occasion included a rekindling of the flame followed by a historical reading by student body Vice President Breyon Love. Love read the “Laws of Florida, Chapter 3692, No.12” which state the recognition of the once State Normal College for Colored students as a school of higher education in the state of Florida.
Guest speaker Attorney Daryl D. Parks and alumnus began his speech with scripture revealing the strength and perseverance of the founders of FAMU. Parks spoke about his experiences at FAMU and about what this event means to him.
Established during a time filled with struggles and countless obstacles to overcome, FAMU has become an institution that continues to rise above while paying homage to those who have paved the way. Students and faculty come together to commemorate the bravery of the two teachers and 15 students that made such an institution possible.
A time for reflection and honor, Convocation encourages students and faculty of FAMU to “know from whence you come.” Students agree that this is a time to reflect upon a history that remains the foundation of FAMU’s existence.
Camille Huggins, 19, a business administration student from Washington, D. C. said that not only is such an event important but it is also necessary.
“It’s important for the students at this University to know its history and know that it wasn’t always in this location,” said Huggins.
Danielle Padgett, 20, a business administration student from Atlanta says that convocation not only brings about a sense of unity but that it is moving as well.
“Convocation means getting together with our “FAMUly”, board of trustees, outside partners and students to talk about our progression and our future endeavors,” said Padgett. “I was moved particularly by the rekindling of the flame because it represented the saying “united we stand, divided we fall.”
Since its establishment in 1887, FAMU has grown into a diverse institution that recognizes the importance of its history and of continuing on the legacy of its founders.