Gov. Rick Scott has recently appointed three new members to Florida A&M’s Board of Trustees. This is following the resignations of three of FAMU’s BOT members within the academic school year.
The three members that resigned were: Lucas Boyce, who was appointed in July 2014; Spurgeon McWilliams, who was assigned to the Board in 2011, followed by Rufus Montgomery who is known to be highly critical of Mangum’s performance since 2014.
The bitterly divided board has not been on one accord for some time and it showed in an Oct. 22 emergency meeting attempting to fire FAMU’s president Elmira Mangum, which failed twice; 7-5 and 6-6
The three new appointees are: Matthew Carter, David Lawrence and Maj. Gen. Gary McCoy.
Carter, 63, is a Tallahassee native, an attorney and professional business consultant on energy, economic development, and education with the Ramos and Sparks Group.
He was previously the senior staff director with the Florida Senate for the Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities Committee and the Committee on Military Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security.
Carter had served on the Board of Governors of the State University System since 2012. He received his bachelor’s and law degrees from Florida State University, a masters in theological seminary from Smith Chapel Bible University, and his doctorate of philosophy from Gulf Coast College and Seminary
Lawrence Jr., 73, of Coral Gables, is the chair of The Children’s Movement of Florida.
He has previously worked as a reporter, editor, and publisher at seven newspapers and retired as the publisher of The Miami Herald in 1999 to work in the area of early childhood development and readiness as the founding board chair of the Children’s Trust. During Lawrence’s 10 years at the Miami Herald, the paper was awarded five Pulitzer Prizes.
Lawrence has received several national honors, including the Ida B. Wells Award for exemplary leadership in providing employment opportunities for minorities, the National Association of Minority Media Executives award for lifetime achievement in diversity, and is a Life Member of the NAACP.
In 2010, Lawrence was inducted into the Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and completed the advanced management program at Harvard Business School. Additionally, Lawrence has received 13 honorary doctorates.
Major General Gary McCoy (Ret.), 64, of Destin, is the former commander of the Air Force Global Logistics Support Center at Scott Air Force Base.
He served as a member of the United States Air Force from 1969 to 2011 where he received Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal with silver and bronze oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, and several other awards and decorations.
McCoy received his bachelor’s degree from Culver Stockton College, masters from the University of Redlands, and completed executive programs at both the University of North Carolina and Harvard University. He succeeds Torey Alston for a term beginning December 18, 2015.
President Mangum offered a released statement welcoming the new members.
“On behalf of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), I would like to welcome and congratulate each of our new Board of Trustees members. Dr. Matthew Carter II, David Lawrence Jr., and Major General (Ret.) Gary McCoy bring to FAMU unique skills, attributes, and experiences that will greatly benefit the University. I am confident that their shared passion for service to our community and appreciation for the importance of higher education will make a profound impact. I look forward to working with each of them as we advance the mission and vision of FAMU together.”
These appointed members are the first actions by Gov. Scott, more actions are set to come next month as recent members’ terms are set to expire.