Hollywood Actor Kicks Off Presidential Lecture Series

Hollywood actor Lamman Rucker kicked off Florida A&M University’s Presidential Lecture Series Monday at the Charles Winter Wood Theatre in Tucker Hall with a master class for theatre students and other related majors.

Rucker spoke about following their dreams while staying true to themselves and to give back now to achieve success.

“It doesn’t sound like it makes sense, does it, because the way that we’re taught is that the way to wealth and riches is to give a little as possible and take as much as possible,” Rucker said. “That’s profit, right? That’s not wealth.”

The actor, educator, activist and entrepreneur gave theatre students the opportunity to perform on stage. He gave back constructive criticism to each performer and lifelong advice.

Catrina Smith, a fourth-year arts performance major from Gainesville, Fla., said Rucker’s advice was very helpful.

“I feel like he gave us everything that he knew, he didn’t hold back,” Smith said.  

In his speech, Rucker told students to get in touch with nature in order to fulfill the miracle of life.  He recalled moments with his encounters on conflict and how he reacted to them.

“It’s up to you to choose whether you were even insulted in the first place,” Smith said. “You all have so much control over your own destiny.”   

Jamel Booth, a third-year facilities management student from Miami, Fla., said he liked when Rucker said things aren’t just about you.

“A lot of times when we get up there [on stage] as artists, and even I’m guilty of this in some cases, going up there thinking it’s just to prove yourself or show how talented you are when that’s not your purpose for being on stage,” Booth said

Rucker was featured in motion pictures like “Why Did I Get Married?”, “Why Did I Get Married Too?”, “Meet the Browns”, and more. He will star in the new film “The Man in 3B.”

Rucker was a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. He was a founding ensemble member of the Black Gents of Hollywood, composed of an all black male theatre company based in Los Angeles. Rucker was an activist and spokesperson for several non-profit organizations such as A.H.E.A.D., Inc., Inner City Industry and BET’s Rap-It-Up campaign.

Mangum said the series will feature individuals in significant areas.

“It will also support our core values in this community and university,” President Mangum said.

The Presidential Lecture Series plans to bring global leaders from various areas to inspire and enlighten FAMU students.