Packed with anticipation and school spirit, Al Lawson housed the revival of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s homecoming spirit. In attendance were notable Rattler alumnus such as Tiffany Greene and City commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox.
The event began with a musical performance of “I’m from FAMU” by The Marching 100 followed by a prayer from Reverend Nick E. Collins from the Higher Dimension Church Tallahassee.
Greetings were delivered by the FAMU National Alumni Association Chief of Staff, Charles Lewis, as well as SGA president and university trustee, Rochard Moricette. Moricette’s speech reminded past and present rattlers of the wonderful experiences and quality we gain or have gained from the university.
“The experience here at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is second to none…. welcome home Rattlers.” Moricette said.
Followed by the greeting was the introduction of the 2019-2020 Student Government Association and the 2019-2020 court by former SGA President Gallop Franklin PharmD, and former Miss FAMU 2005-2006 Kimberly Brown Pellum PhD. Pellum explained the true definition of the type of beauty required from the royal court to serve as the face of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and how Miss FAMU, Kyra D. Freeman, and Mister FAMU, Crenel Francis embodied it all.
“For those reasons, as our ancestors would have required, Miss FAMU and Mister FAMU, you are the definition of beauty,” Pellum said.
Another selection was performed by The Marching 100, “Vice Versa”. The performance brought the hype for Athletics Director John Eason and head football coach Willie Simmons to introduce the athletic teams and football team.
Simmons encouraged the crowd to attend the game and potentially witness history take place on the field. FAMU’s football team is currently tied for #1 in the MEAC
and fighting for the MEAC win after 11 years.
Next up, the FAMU concert choir conducted by Mark Butler, DMA, performed Butler’s arrangement of The Lord’s Prayer shocking the crowd with their vocal talents.
The highlight of the event was the speech from Alumnus and President/CEO of Converse, Inc., George Scott Uzell.
Uzell received his Bachelor of Science in Business from FAMU’s School of Business and Industry. After graduation, Uzell worked with companies such as Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble, and Nabisco.
Uzell’s key point that he wanted to leave FAMU’s students with were his top 10 stories learned while at FAMU.
- Bring your “A” game
- Dream Big
- Procrastination is not a strategy
- The Tribe
- You are the man
- The Mirage
- I Got Me One
- Love of the party
- See Around the Corner
- Red Zone
Uzell’s lessons serve as a reminder to always try your hardest, dream big, never use procrastination as a serious tool, make connections with friends and fellow rattlers, remain confident, have fun, plan ahead for the future, and know that FAMU is preparing you for greatness.
“It [FAMU] was the place that prepared me for life and to achieve my dreams and goals. For that, I am eternally grateful,” Uzell said.
Presentations were followed by president Larry Robinson warding Uzell and Barbara Cohen Pippin with the President’s award.
The show stopping announcements were made at the end by Assistant Vice President University Engagement and Alumni Affairs, Carmen Cummings-Martin.
More than $11.6 million in total was raised between various corporations, the National Alumni Association, FAMU Boosters club, 220 club, and FAMU foundation.
After the last selection by the band, closing remarks from President Robinson, and the Alma Mater, Martin left the crowd with a powerful statement as a reminder of what a real rattler does.
“This is what FAMU does, this is who FAMU produces, this what we do.”