The accomplishments in Florida A&M’s 124-year history can probably fill a book. However, given the space limitations of this medium few highlights will do. Founded in 1887, FAMU has since proven to be more than just an institution rooted in history, but a powerful movement. In 1984, FAMU offered its first Ph.D. in Pharmacy.
In 1985, under the administration of Frederick S. Humphries, enrollment increased from 5,100 to 12,000 students by the 1989-1999 academic year. More recently, in 2007, President James H. Ammons started more than 22 bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. programs. Truth is, there is simply no way to sum up 124 years of what I consider to be greatness. Some might say that HBCUs serve no purpose, but we can all attest to the fact that this is false.
Since the first HBCU, Cheyney University, was founded, HBCUs have been thriving. It is amazing that an institution as great as FAMU started with just 15 students and two instructors in a time when most Americans didn’t believe that the descendants of former slaves deserved to be educated. Shackles and chains once bound people of color. But they were determined that through knowledge they could free their minds. FAMU is a legacy of that determination.
While this is something we all know about FAMU’s history, we must continue to remind ourselves of how we started from nothing and grew into an incubator for generations of black business, cultural, political leaders. The story becomes more dynamic each year.
So where do we go from here?
We can only move forward. The student body should take pride in this celebration as it represents not only a job well done,O but the potential that FAMU has to become better each year. Let us continue to build on this 124-year legacy.
“FAMU yesterday, FAMU today, FAMU forever.”