Kyra Freeman and Crenel Francis, Miss and Mr. Florida A&M University, were emphatic with their joint message: “If you cannot fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you cannot walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
FAMU Rattlers gathered on Friday to hear how far Florida A&M has come as a university.
The annual President’s Convocation at Gaither Gym started off with Rochard Moricette, the student body president.
Moricette directed his focus toward the staff, alumni, and student body when he announced that HBCUs are in jeopardy of losing $83 million worth of funding. He also guided everyone step by step through a link that’s named uncf.org, which provides a document for people to sign and would prevent HBCU funding from being decreased.
Maurice Edington, the provost and vice-president for academic affairs, introduced the speaker of the hour, FAMU President Larry Robinson.
Before introducing Robinson, Edington gave a brief summary of Robinson’s impressive biography. He enlightened the audience on how Robinson is not only the president of FAMU, but he is also a former professor and researcher in the School of the Environment at FAMU.
Robinson served as a director of FAMU’s Environmental Sciences Institute from 1997 to 2003, provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2003 to 2005 and the vice president for research in 2009.
He is also engaged in research with the student body and faculty as the director and principal investigator of the Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems.
Robinson, the 12th president of Florida A&M University, informed the audience of how it is a good time to be a Rattler.
Robinson highlighted how FAMU is excelling in different ways. He noted that the university’s student body is more involved with the Tallahassee community, to alumni starting to give back and represent Florida A&M.
Robinson motivated the class of 2023 when he said, “The only thing you have to prove to us is that you’re working hard.” He welcomes the newest class to The Hill with open arms.
He went on to explain how this weekend is full of notable events. For example, the Student Government Association inauguration and inaugural gala, Florida A&M vs. Fort Valley State University tailgate and season-opening home football game, and more.
While Robinson was explaining all of what FAMU has to offer this year, there was a sense of a newfound energy. He was able to energize everyone and give the audience hope that this year would be different.
He also mentioned that FAMU moved up to No. 7 among the top HBCUs in the U.S. News and World Report rankings, which were recently earlier this week.