Tailgate party brings Rattlers of old back to ‘The Hill’

The annual tailgate party hosted by the National Alumni Association took place Friday afternoon.
Julious Lowe | The Famuan

FAMU’s National Alumni Association hosted its annual tailgate party Friday in front of the Al Lawson Center.

The event saw Rattler students past and present come out to socialize over food, drinks, and music. Many former Rattlers and alumni association members came back to “The Hill” Friday to enjoy what has become a staple of homecoming tradition.

“Coming home is something I do often. I’m a season ticket holder, I love coming back to FAMU and being involved with the university,” Charles R. Lewis III, the NAA’s director of conventions and events, said.

“It’s a good feeling because, for one thing my home is right next door in Quincy, and I’m here almost every year. I don’t think I’ve missed a year since I finished school. It’s just a good feeling to be amongst friends and former classmates. And it’s just a good feeling,” William A. Powell III, retired pharmacy FAMU class of 1969, said.

As listed on the FAMU NAA website, since 1892, approximately 75,000 alumni of Florida A&M have migrated all over the state of Florida, the United States, and even countries abroad. The continued success and significant accomplishments of FAMU alumni have contributed to the growth of FAMU as an institution.

“It has certainly grown quite a bit. I left here over 40 years ago, and I see a lot of progress and a lot of changes. Students, they seem to be well-equipped when they leave here now,” Powell said.

“I think it’s grown tremendously since I’ve left school. I graduated in ’94, and I’ve seen tremendous change. We’ve got a new teaching gym, we’ve renovated the commons, we’ve got new dorms, FAMU has changed drastically and it looks good,” Lewis said.

The continued success of FAMU alumni, like Lewis and Powell, and even others like Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who spoke at Friday morning’s Homecoming Convocation, will continue to bring more eyes to FAMU while continuing to set a standard for excellence that will be respected and admired for years to come.

“I think the future is great. I think each alumni should support the school. And I think it’s doing good things for the community, the world all abroad, and people know that FAMU exists,” said Powell.

“FAMU as a whole is growing and going in the right direction. FAMU Rise will help us achieve more funds so we can do more things per student, and for the university. It’s going in the right direction,” said Lewis.