Florida A&M University has announced that the Knight Foundation Plaza would become the new home and centerpiece of the school’s Set Friday tradition. Meanwhile, Set Friday will be relocating to the amphitheater — where it has been held several times during the past year.
The Knight Foundation donated $1.5 million to FAMU during the 2021 homecoming, including funding for the Will Packer Performing Arts Amphitheater. Knight Foundation Plaza is a 25,000-square-foot space.
FAMU President Larry Robinson believes this change will demonstrate a meaningful bond between the university and the donor. It will also be a place for significant events for FAMU students and the community, he said.
“The Knight Foundation Plaza symbolizes a further cementing of the relationship between our university and this great philanthropy. The plaza will be the location for many memorable events for our students and the community,” Robinson said in a news release.
Set Friday has been around for more than two decades. Set Friday originally started out as market Friday, an event created to showcase student entrepreneurs who could market and sell their products. This event takes place in front of the student union. After the early 90s, the Set expanded by bringing in vendor booths, a live DJ, and entertainment from music to fashion and much more performed by the students.
While school officials and donors are excited about the new name and location, some students voiced mixed emotions about the recent change and hope the new name can live up to the standards of “the Set.”
Christian Robinson, a third-year health science major, says he’s disappointed about the new name and location. He believes other things should be changed rather than the Set.
“There are some things you should change, and then there are some things you don’t. These are one of those things you leave alone. Whenever I go out to the Set, the energy is always positive. It’s so much history there. That’s like saying let’s change the mascot. No one would go for that because of the history,” Robinson said.
Some students are open-minded regarding the change. Just because there isn’t anything wrong with the current arrangements, there’s nothing wrong with improving and changing.
Harmony Davidson, a pre-business major, says she’s excited about being a part of the history of the Knight Foundation Plaza.
“My mom graduated in the class of 2003, and she always told me so much about the Set, and it made me so excited to attend FAMU even more. My experience on the Set was different from what I expected. I feel like the new location and name will bring a better atmosphere and open mind for people who want to advocate for their business and give people a chance to network with a bigger crowd,” she said. “This makes me excited for the future to tell my kids stories about what the Knight Plaza did for me.”