Students and alumni of Florida A&M filled the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center to honor FAMU’s eighth president Frederick S. Humphries.
Laughter and cheers echoed throughout the hall as friends, family, colleagues and students took to the podium and shared their experiences of Humphries, which overwhelmed him.
“I didn’t imagine this at all, so all of this – the recognition, the praise – is all new to me and unexpected,” Humphries said.
Under his administration from 1985 to 2001, FAMU led the nation three times with the most National Achievement Scholarship recipients and created student-based organizations that aided the school in recruiting top scholars.
Sponsored by the Leon County Chapter of the FAMU National Alumni Association, the event was the ninth installment of the alumni association’s long-running scholarship gala. The $20,000 raised will go toward FAMU scholarships for freshmen from Leon County and students in summer band and football camps.
Kadeja Henry, a third-year criminal justice student from Miami and president of the Presidential Ambassadors, was enthusiastic about sharing her love for Humphries.
“We are here tonight to show our love and gratitude for President Humphries, the one who founded this organization,” Henry said. “We want him to know how much we are grateful for him and his dedication to us and all he has done. Not only for the Presidential Ambassadors but also for the entire university.”
The Presidential Ambassadors, founded by Humphries in 1985, is an organization dedicated to serving FAMU in uplifting the university, its students and the surrounding community.
Rashada Dawan, a FAMU alumnae and actress on Broadway’s “The Lion King,” said the night was humbling for her.
“To be a part of something so great for a great man is amazing,” Dawan said. “After being here surrounded by alumni and current students, especially the FAMU Connection, I can’t help but want to give more to my family.”