FAMU Day at the Capitol: Advocating for excellence

Photo Caption: Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University’s President Larry Robinson and Florida State University System Chancellor Ray Rodrigues. Feb. 21, 2024
Photo Courtesy: @FAMU_1887 Instagram

Florida A&M University’s presence at the Capitol Wednesday was not merely an annual tradition, but a vital moment where the university’s student body and its stakeholders came together to celebrate FAMU’s achievements and advocate for its future. 

This year’s FAMU Day at the Capitol, marked by President Larry Robinson’s passionate remarks, highlighted not only the university’s milestones but also its ongoing commitment to excellence.

Robinson accentuated some remarkable achievements, including a record-breaking fundraising year that netted $25.7 million and a substantial increase in research investments, reaching an all-time high of $59 million. 

These accomplishments are a testament to the university’s dedication to advancing knowledge and fostering innovation.

“The Legislature’s investment in FAMU is paying healthy dividends,” Robinson said, acknowledging the crucial role of government support in fueling the university’s success.

FAMU’s legislative agenda for the upcoming academic year emphasizes student success, institution ranking and academic excellence. By requesting $45.5 million in recurring funds, the university aims to ensure that every student has the resources they need to succeed.

“Having students and organizations from FAMU visit the Capitol during open legislative sessions is tremendously important for the well-being of the student body,” said Chloe Waites, a sophomore and member of FAMU’s renowned band, The Marching 100. “The experience of interacting with senators and house representatives who dedicate their time to contribute to our HBCU is life changing.”

Waites highlighted the significance of FAMU’s advocacy efforts, noting that initiatives such as the SBI renovations and the establishment of a Chemical and Biological Research Lab are vital for enhancing academic opportunities and campus infrastructure. 

By sharing their firsthand experiences and showcasing their “Rattler Pride,” students played a crucial role in strengthening support for these critical projects.

One of the top priorities on FAMU’s budget request list is renovation of the south wing of the School of Business and Industry, a project that carries a price tag of $29 million. This investment is essential to modernizing facilities and creating an environment conducive to learning and innovation for STEM students at FAMU.

In the near future, FAMU hopes to have a slot among the top 50 engineering schools in the United States, and it is requesting an additional $13 million for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. 

As FAMU continues to strive for excellence, events like FAMU Day at the Capitol serve as a platform for recognition, collaboration and advocacy. 

It is through the determination of the FAMU community to make a significant and positive impact on society through its collective efforts to advance knowledge, empower students and accomplish its mission.