FAMU lacks funding for hall of fame plaques

Last Friday, Washington Post columnist Donna Britt went into Gaither Gym nasium.

She stepped into the gym hoping to see a plaque of her father who had been inducted into the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame.

When she arrived she was surprised to find that the plaque did not exist.

This is because the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame inductees are asked to donate $500 to receive a plaque, according to FAMU athletic director, Ken Riley.

Britt and her husband, Kevin Merida, were here in residence last week with journalism classes and student media.

Thomas Elwood Britt who played basketball for the Rattlers in the early 1940’s was inducted into the FAMU Sports Hall in 1992. Britt attended the induction ceremony with her father.

Britt said she was very disappointed when she didn’t see the plaque. “I was looking forward to showing my kids my father on that wall,” she said.

Britt added that after being on campus all last week, it made her even more proud knowing that her father had been inducted.

“It was going to be the highlight of the week,” said Britt.

Dr. Joseph Ramsey, II, chairman of the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame said an application must be filled out to get a plaque. He added that the inductee or someone representing him or her should send a picture to FAMU and the school will supply the information to put on the plaque.

Britt said none of that information was conveyed to her father or anyone in his family.

Ramsey said the hall of fame wall has been in existence for seven years and everyone has to pay the $500 fee.

“If we had a budget, we wouldn’t have to ask people to pay,” said Ramsey. “Its either that or we won’t do it at all.”

Ramsey said he and his committee want to model FAMU’s Hall after the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in Lake City. The Florida Hall has a list of all its inductees on gold plates in a glass case, according to Ramsey.

Britt said that’s a nice idea because there should be something to show who has been inducted into FAMU’s hall of fame, regardless of whether or not they pay the $500 fee.

New inductees are unveiled the weekend of the first home football game each year.

This year’s class has nine new inductees and the ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 6 at the Leon County Civic Center.