FAMU’s homecoming brings many annual traditions. The football game, the Greek step show, and coronation to name a few. If you’ve ever been to a homecoming convocation, you’re familiar with the roll call that happens near the end. Not your average roll call, a group’s name is called and the amount of money they gave comes right after. Alumni from various classes, different organizations, sororities and fraternities present how much they raised in the name of their beloved alma mater.
The looming presence of a global pandemic has brought all of these festivities to a halt. The annual fundraising to celebrate FAMU’s founding, however, still found a way to take center stage. This year, FAMU’s National Alumni Association (NAA) kept the tradition alive. On the weekend of Oct. 3 — also known as Founders’ Day — a link on the NAA website prompted alumni to donate $133 and current students to give $18.87. The link also gave the option to give any other amount.
In just one day, $45,000 was donated.
“Money is still coming in,” NAA President Col. Greg Clark said. “We are going to keep the birthday link up for the rest of the month.”
Since the original release of the fundraiser, more than $500,000 has been given, much needed in unprecedented times such as these. The money will be distributed across the athletics department, FAMU CARES, and the NAA’s Save Our Students scholarship program.
As this initiative pushes forward, the NAA is working with Shawnta Friday-Stroud, vice president for University Advancement, and her team to encourage supporters to keep donating.
“We are humbled and encouraged by, and thankful for, the support of our alumni,” Friday-Stroud said. “Their generosity during these trying times is greatly appreciated. These donations will go a long way to meeting student needs and enabling their success.”
The Alumni Association was founded in 1901 when Live Oak native Elias G. Evans, class of 1895, decided to raise funds for books as well as to secure the Carnegie Library. Today, the NAA is split into six regions and serves the communities in each one through more than 30 active chapters. Their determination to better the school from which they came is very encouraging for those currently attending.
“The alumni are very supportive of the students here no matter who they are,” Jasmine Welch, a second year biology pre-medicine major, said. “After graduating, I plan to give back to my specific school, the College of Science and Technology.