As former Florida A&M University president Frederick Humphries approached the lectern, the audience greeted him with a standing ovation.
They were showing their respect and honor to a man who has had a part in paving the wave for many Rattlers.
“It is great to be home,” Humphries said during his address at FAMU’s Founders Day Convocation.
It was statement that was well received by a gymnasium filled with students, faculty, retirees, and alumni who were eager to hear him speak on the 125th anniversary of FAMU.
Humphries noted that FAMU is an exceptional university and even after 125 years still has room to excel. “It would be a tragedy for Florida’s only public HBCU to be relegated to mediocrity,” he said.
With those words he charged students, faculty and staff to continue to move forward.
He highlighted the academics of FAMU focusing on the School of Business and Industry for being known by corporate America as a valuable resource for producing quality business professionals.
The Marching 100 received a nod for being one of the few bands to perform in parades in Paris, play for NFL Super Bowl Games, and to be requested to play for presidential inaugurations.
“One thing I want students to take away from this convocation is that we have reached 125 years but there is something that each and every student should do to make sure we reach the next 125 years.” said Marisa West Student Body President.
The 2012 Founders day convocation held significance to Florida A&M University’s students. “Today marks 125 years of life here at FAMU,” said Michael Jefferson student body vice president.
Recognition of the university’s history was touched on throughout the program.
Dr. Murell Dawson Alumna and Director of Meek-Eaton Black Archives Research Center and Museum read through a timeline that demonstrated the struggles as well as the triumphs of the university.
“Century old oak trees have witnessed the pain and joy of the FAMU,” she said.
Tommy Mitchell, President of the National Alumni Association affirmed that FAMU has a huge impact worldwide and said, “since the first 5 graduates, there has been hundreds of thousands of Rattlers that have emerged from FAMU, and bettered the world in their profession.”
Students and faculty weren’t the only ones celebrating the universities mile stone year. Frank Brogan State University System of Florida Chancellor stopped by to bring greetings and congratulate to the university on its milestone accomplishments.
“This is a new testament for the next 125 years of Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University,” Brogan said.