Faculty members and students gathered around the eternal flame last night to celebrate FAMU’s 127 birthday and the inauguration of new president, Elmira Mangum.
The “Student Government Inaugural/ Founder’s Day Kick-Off” began at 10 p.m. and ended just after midnight.
Student Government Association President Tonette Graham, a senior health care management student from Tallahassee, Fla., said that Mangum specifically chose founders day as her installation ceremony and inaugural weekend.
“She wanted to pick a date that was symbolic to the university,” Graham said.
DJ Loosekid opened up the celebration and got students excited about founder’s day and Mangum’s inauguration. The 'Marching 100' surprised the crowd with an unexpected performance, and FAMU student band, Groove 87, engaged the crowd with famous covers from The O’Jays and Pharrel.
Jon Owens, a senior animal science student from Stuart, Fla., said he was glad that the event brought the FAMU community together.
“It’s so good to see that after everything we’ve been through, we can still stand together to celebrate this huge moment together.”
During the kick-off, President Mangum joined students and the King and Queen of Orange and Green on stage for a stroll workshop. Students laughed and danced to the familiar music while watching Mangum participate in various FAMU strolls for the very first time.
“It was very cool to see President Mangum laughing and dancing with the students,” Medlin said. “She is very approachable and it’s great that she took the time to come and celebrate with us. It’s nice to see someone in such high authority not afraid to let loose and have a good time.”
Before stepping off stage, Mangum thanked the students and community for attending and encouraged students to participate in the remaining inauguration events.
When midnight approached, students danced and chanted in anticipation of FAMU’s birthday, Oct. 3.
Graham began the official 10-second countdown on stage and at midnight orange and green fireworks erupted and student volunteers passed out cupcakes while the crowd burst into excited cheers and applause.
“It’s the start of a new season,” Graham said.
“This event means unity it and coming together. This is the greatest way to welcome and celebrate our new president. For her to be able to get that old HBCU and old FAMU spirit as we celebrate our founder’s day and her at the same time; for her to feel welcome and become a part of our FAMUly.”
Mangum will continue her inauguration week celebration until Sunday. She will be officially sworn into her new role as president during the installation ceremony in the Alfred Lawson Teaching Gymnasium.
For more information visit www.famuinaugration.com.