Board elects leader

The FAMU Board of Trustees appointed James Corbin, 68, of Chattahoochee, Fla. as its new chairman Tuesday.

Corbin, a 1956 FAMU graduate, has served on the Board since its formation in 2001.

“I’m very flattered,” Corbin said Tuesday. ” I hope I can pull this board together and get us on sound financial footing.”

Corbin said his relationship with the other trustees is a good one, and that their selection of him proves they have confidence in his ability.

“I think he is strongly committed to the development and mission of Florida A&M University,” Trustee Randy Hanna said. “I expect him to challenge the university to seek excellence in all areas.”

Corbin emphasized the importance of the local chapter of the National Alumni Association in improving FAMU’s financial situation. With more members, the chapter and the university would have more money to work with

“They ought to be raising money,” Corbin said. “There are 5,000 alumni in Tallahassee, a membership fee of $35 and only 500 members.”

Corbin stressed his faith in the FAMU community.

“If Hampton can raise $200 million, we can do it too.”

Corbin graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1970 with a M.S. in exceptional education and received a Ph.D in education administration from the University of Massachusetts in 1972.

Despite traveling around the country to complete his education, Corbin insists that he remains a Rattler at heart. He graduated from FAMU High in 1951.

“If I have accomplished anything I can trace it to FAMU High and FAMU. The people there literally and physically walked me into my manhood.”

Corbin also served on the Florida Board of Regents from Oct. 29, 1999 until it was separated into individual Boards of Trustees in 2001.

Corbin is dedicated to the improvement of FAMU and encourages students to work with the faculty and administration to improve the university’s current conditions.

“We are all in this together and we have to all work together to make this work,” Corbin said. “We are all torchbearers and must strive to keep FAMU one of the greatest institutions in America.”

An avid republican, Corbin supports Governor Jeb Bush’s One Florida Initiative.

In a statement released shortly after appointing Corbin to the Board of Regents, Bush gave his reasoning for the appointment.

“James’ commitment to education and his involvement in higher education have given him the knowledge and skills to do a great job,” Bush said. “I am confident he will be an excellent addition.”

Elizabeth M. Broadway can be reached at