About 740 students will graduate on Dec. 14 at Florida A&M’s fall commencement ceremony. It will mark the beginning of futures for graduates.
Berlange Desinor, a molecular cell biology graduate from Ft. Lauderdale, said that after graduating she will participate in the City Year Orlando corps program and earn her master’s in microbiology. She looks forward to doing her last “Rattler strike” at commencement.
Desinor and other graduates will hear from attorney H.T. Smith at the ceremony. Smith was Miami-Dade County’s first
assistant county attorney and the first African-American assistant public defender in Miami.
Since receiving his B.S. in mathematics at FAMU, he has been active in both legal and civic circles.
In 1995, he helped establish the NFL Youth Education Town Center in the
Scott Carver Projects of Miami, which took $4 million to fund. Smith has also served as the first director of the Florida International University College of Law Trial Advocacy Program and led the Boycott Miami campaign, which was a result of the poor treatment of former South African president and activist Nelson Mandela when he visited Miami.
Smith received his J.D. from the University Of Miami School Of Law and served a tour of duty in the Vietnam War in the U.S. Army. Smith currently serves as the chairman of the board of directors of the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation and as a member of the board of trustees for UM.
FAMU Chief Communications Officer Sharon Saunders had positive remarks about Smith’s arrival.
“Smith is a pioneer in his field and a graduate of FAMU,” Saunders said. “He was chosen because he is a great orator that will deliver a powerful message to our
attorney Smith to discuss is how graduates should approach their future careers and endeavors. They have chosen various career paths and he will provide some advice on how that can achieve success as they pursue their careers.”
For some graduates, graduation marks a huge milestone.
Alexander Cole, a philosophy and religion student from Brooklyn, N.Y., said that graduation is a big accomplishment for him because he will be the first in his family to graduate. After graduation, Cole said he will move to Orlando and will also pursue a master’s degree in hospitality.
The commencement ceremony is Dec. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Alfred Lawson Jr., Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium. The general public is invited.