After relocating three times, after changing its name four times, after 10 presidents and after it began with two instructors and 15 students, Florida A&M University has grown into an undeniable Black Ivy League institution 125 years later.
No one is prouder than I am that an institution with the purpose to cultivate, edify and awaken the Black mind sits on land that was once a slave plantation. The plantation was called Highwood and was owned by William Pope Duval, the first governor of the Florida territory.
If critics are still looking for a reason for why historically black colleges and universities are relevant, the irony in the paragraph above answers the question.
FAMU has evolved since that State Normal College for Colored Students in 1887. Land was purchased, buildings were built and enrollment grew. Before anyone knew it, FAMU became more than a school that was founded because of segregation; it became a school of community and familiarity.
The majority of students enrolled at FAMU are not here because it was their only choice; they enrolled because it was their first choice. Many received their acceptance letters to predominantly white schools, but chose to attend FAMU. They wanted to be surrounded by innovative, conscious Black minds that share their same goal. They want to experience that modern Harlem Renaissance sensation that is often recreated at an HBCU.
FAMU has not only evolved to 14 schools and colleges covering 420 acres, but has had an enrollment of over 12,000 students. And even though FAMU praises the number of Black students they’ve been able to educate, we admire the growing amount of diversity as well.
I pride the fact that The Famuan’s last editor-in-chief was Hispanic and that our current editor-in-chief is Caucasian. I pride the fact that FAMU has had a Caucasian quarterback. It affirms that FAMU sees orange and green, not black and white. To Rattlers here and beyond, happy 125th.