Florida A&M celebrates 125 years this year, and university officials have big plans to mark the occasion.
Sharon Saunders, director of communications, said the university hopes to recognize more than 200 alumni and other outstanding contributors to FAMU’s history. She said she plans to encourage campus organizations to participate through the various campus events.
Students can look forward to Founder’s Day Convocation at 10:10 a.m. on Oct. 3. Afterward, FAMU will be having a birthday party.
Everyone is encouraged to attend. The birthday party will take place in the quadrangle area between the girls dorm.
Deborah Key, a senior criminal justice student from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., does not have high hopes for FAMU’s 125th anniversary.
“I don’t expect anything to be different,” said Key. “I know people will support FAMU, like they always have, but the same problems will persist.”
The university will reach out to the former living presidents and living founders to help celebrate the 125th anniversary at the convocation.
President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. Emilio Hall said the fraternity plans to recognize the alumni on a larger scale this year.
Members have a big tailgate party planned for former students. He said he hopes to see a lot of participation from students and alumni and does not want them to lose sight of the real reason FAMU has been around for 125 years.
“I hope they bring a little more excitement to the hill to fill the void the “100” has caused,” Hall said.
The university also plans to showcase the accomplishments of 125 outstanding alumni with a gala on Nov. 9.
Alumnus Nicholas Waters expects for the legacy of FAMU to continue.
“FAMU has their own unique style of celebrating as with any other HBCU,” said Waters.
Nicholas expects to see the same fellowship and celebration as with any of the past years.
“In the past, the tradition of FAMU was much greater and given the recent events surrounding the Marching ‘100,’” said Waters. “I would like to see my alumni institution come together and regain that positive energy that has continued to carry this great institution for 125 years.”
The university will select 180 distinguished alumni, and the National Alumni Association will select 125 individuals to honor. The university plans to officially announce the honorees by the end of August.
LaSasha Quince, a senior English student from Daytona Beach, Fla., hopes that bad situation FAMU has been involved in does not outweigh the good the university is known for.
“125 years strong, we have to be doing something right,” said Quince.