FAMU celebrates 136th birthday

FAMU Pres. Dr. Larry Robinson addresses guests during ceremony.
Photo credit: Sydney Rencher

Florida A&M students, administration, and guests gathered around the Eternal Flame Tuesday morning to witness the annual wreath-laying ceremony in commemoration of FAMU’s birthday.

Remarks were made by Student Government Association Vice President Jeffrey Francis and FAMU President Larry Robinson. Francis, a health science student from Jacksonville, Florida, approached the lectern first. Over his short but well-spent time at FAMU, Francis stated the university has contributed greatly to his growth and
development not only as a student, but as an individual.

“FAMU has given me purpose,” he explained. “FAMU has built character and grit. So I connect, reflect, and celebrate striking on 136 years of excellence with caring.” Pres. Robinson welcomed attendees to the celebration, touching on FAMU’s surge in the U.S. News and World Report rankings.

Pres. Robinson stated that the university’s high rankings among all historically black colleges and universities and in social mobility are a testament to “what is possible.” He remarked on FAMU’s journey, and how far the university has come from its humble beginnings.

“For 136 years, he stated. “FAMU has delivered on the promise of opportunity, with thousands of students and lives as we have created opportunities for some that were never imagined or were never supposed to be. This is the place where great things happen every day.” Robinson expressed his honor and gratitude to be able to serve as president of FAMU, and honored the leaders that came before him.“We stand on the shoulders of giants indeed,” he says. “Who paved the way for us all. Let us never
forget their work and sacrifices and their love for Florida A&M University.”

He closed, thanking students, leaders, faculty and staff, and alumni for their support. Afterwards, SGA President Londe Mondelus introduced the FAMU Essential Theatre students who performed “History of FAMU” directed by theater professor Dr. Luther Wells. The performance featured a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. After the ceremony, guests were encouraged to enjoy cupcakes and orange and green punch provided by FAMU Metz.

136 years ago, FAMU first opened its doors to 15 students and two professors. Now, the university educates almost 10,000 students and boasts more than 75,000 alumni. FAMU has continued growing and expanding physically, tearing down and renovating older buildings while building and expanding new ones.

While the look of FAMU has evolved over a century and some change, the morals and values of ‘Love and Charity’ and ‘Excellence with Caring’ still stand.