About 50 students, faculty and alumni gathered around the eternal flame to celebrate the National Florida A&M Day of Prayer Saturday evening.
The program, FAMUnited We Stand, marked 125 years of excellence at FAMU.
The day of prayer was organized by SGA and the Student National Alumni Association.
The voices of FAMU’s Gospel Choir filled the quadrangle of the eternal flame setting the tone for the occasion. This is “something we needed, and when one or two are gathered, he is in our midst,” said SGA Vice President Troy Harris welcoming those who came together.
Even though drum major Robert Champion was not mentioned, his memory seemed to affect the crowd’s mood. The program consisted of heartfelt memories, song and poem of those who have been touched by the university’s history.
President James H. Ammons reminisced about his time as a FAMU, his “special spot” in Coleman library, and then he offered a few words of encouragement. “Florida A&M has had challenges throughout this 125 years but there are no challenges that are too big for committed Rattlers,” Ammons said.
Third-generation rattler, agribusiness graduate student Latasha Smith presented the audience with a rousing poem, describing the love and many memorable experiences FAMU has given her, as well as referring to the recent hazing incident. “Battered, bruised, beaten, shunned, neglected. I am FAMU,” Smith’s poem read. “Tainted by the venomous words of the ignorant spectators responsible for the constant molestation of our reputation. I am FAMU.”
Among those who gave testimonies were young and seasoned alumni, current students, returning students and children receiving a taste of the FAMU experience.
Eric Wright, Jr., a graduate history student from Tampa said, “I believe in FAMU because the Bible tells me so.” With the attention of all in attendance he went on to explain and name the scripture that guided him to that conclusion.
“The Bible says ‘I lift mine eyes to the hills from which cometh my help.'”
The efforts of Ashleigh Irving and Shannon Alfred to unite the campus in a day of prayer were not in vain and were greatly appreciated by all.
The celebration of 125 years has just begun. A series of events are planned for FAMU’s Lyceum Series, which begins Feb. 3.