Convocation kicks off school year

In an effort to welcome new students on campus, President James Ammons presided over the annual president’s convocation at Florida A&M University’s Gaither Gym.

In addition to 27 faculty members that shared the stage with Ammons, there was Gallop Franklin, student body president; Calvin Hayes, student body vice president; and Brandon McCaskill, Mr. FAMU.

Ammons directed his speech towards excellence on The Hill.

Soon you will be pursuing your dreams, goals and desires,” Ammons said. “You will leave this place knowing you have chosen the right institution.”

Brandon McCaskill, 21, a broadcast journalism student from Largo, Maryland, gave five goals to help new students at FAMU.

Write out a five year plan, realize your potential and nurture it, keep good company, visualize and claim success and write your own script,” said McCaskill.

Mr. FAMU also told the students to remember their journey and pass it on to others.

When Larry Robinson, vice president for research, introduced Ammons, he highlighted Ammons’ many accomplishments.

Ammons worked hard to restore the accreditation of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences,” Robinson said. “Also, after 32 years, the College of Law received its full accreditation in July 2009.”

Ammons also received the leader of the year award in 2008 from Leadership Tallahassee.

In his speech Ammons acknowledged FAMU’s storied accomplishments and recent additions.

Our university has a new doctorate program in physical therapy and the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication and the School of Business and Industry have received awards,” said FAMU’s 1oth president.

FAMU has 13 colleges and schools, 11 doctorate programs, three professional degrees and 39 bachelor degree programs.

ESPN brought their College Game Day program to FAMU last spring and FAMU is currently number one in collegiate merchandise sales among Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Enrollment is increasing and beds are low,” Ammons said. “But we housed all the students that were on the waiting list.”

We want to preserve the legacy and improve student experience on this campus,” Ammons said.

Ammons last piece of advice was in reference to being healthy on campus.

The university will provide updates and preventive measures to ensure you stay healthy,” Ammons said. “Cover your cough, wash hands often, and stay home if you’re sick.”

Ammons said FAMU will hold forums and invite scholars to speak about health care issues.

To help meet our healthcare needs, FAMU will develop new programs like a School of Dentistry,” said Ammons.

The president’s main goal is to restore public trust in this university.

It’s time for a new era of greatness,” Ammons said. “Our graduates should be exemplary role models for our undergraduates.”

Julian White, director of bands, introduced the largest tuba section in the nation. The band played selections such as “Give Me That Ol’ FAMU Spirit.”

White presented Ammons with an award of appreciation for sending the Marching 100 to Washington for the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States.

FAMU has come a long way and with the addition of the freshmen class, we hope to make this a pleasant experience.