FAMU names new amphitheater after anonymous donor

Amphitheater design preview. Photo courtesy FAMU Forward

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University will honor a family that donated a portion of the $2.1 million to construct the new amphitheater. This is the first time the university has named a facility based on a donation.

Approximately one-fourth of the facility’s cost will be donated by a family who wants to remain anonymous at this time. Trustee members set this large donation
as a threshold for donation based naming on campus. Shawnta Friday-Stroud, vice president of university advancement, hopes the naming of the amphitheater will encourage more donations to the university’s funding.

“This is going to bare significance in a different category…it’s going to be the first ever based on a donation and that’s huge,” Friday said. “We definitely want to use it as a platform to try and encourage others to donate.”

The $500,000 donation allows the family to have a say in how the name is placed on the facility. There isn’t an end date to the rights of the name of the amphitheater and the family isn’t opposed to another donor name being added.

The university’s policy states that gift related naming requires at least fifty percent of the fundraising target. Vice Chairman Kimberly Moore thinks the president
should have the final say to the naming of a facility if another donor were to contribute to the cost of construction.

“Regarding the hyphenated or joint name…I think it is important that we capture that in the agreement,” Moore said. “So there is no confusion going forward.”

Many facilities on campus honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the university. The honorary naming of these buildings was
reviewed by trustee members appointed by the president.

“We’re very appreciative of the donation,” said Chairman Kelvin Lawson. “But we just want to make sure it is consistent with our own policies as far as the naming and being able to add future names at a later date.”

The amphitheater is projected to be completed in the summer of 2020. An official naming ceremony will be announced after construction and the gift agreement is finalized.