Pictured above from left to right: President/CEO of the Boston Red Sox, Larry Lucchino; Mayor Marty Walsh, Chancellor of North Carolina Central University Dr. Debra Saunders-White; Red Sox Special Adviser, Frank Jordan; President of Florida A&M University, Dr. Elmira Mangum,; Chairman of the Board of the Boston Red Sox, Tom Werner; Boston Superintendent-in-Chief William Gross; and Wally the Green Monster
BOSTON, Mass. – Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D., joined the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Area Church League, Inc., today to announce the schedule and participants of the first-ever Historically Black Colleges and Universities Legacy Weekend Celebration. The celebration will be held in Boston April 23 – 26.
The press conference announcing the celebration was attended by Marty Walsh, mayor of the City of Boston; Larry Lucchino, president and CEO of the Red Sox; Tom Werner, chairman of the Red Sox and television producer (“A Different World”); and Frank Jordan, creator of the HBCU Legacy Weekend Celebration and special adviser to the Red Sox.
In addition to President Mangum, Interim Athletic Director E. D’Wayne Robinson and Vice President for Communications and External Relations Jimmy Miller represented FAMU at the press conference.
FAMU along with North Carolina Central University will be the participants in this year’s inaugural celebration. The weekend of events will include a doubleheader featuring the two HBCUs on April 24 at Jim Rice Field in Roxbury, Mass. and a single game on April 25 at the historic Fenway Park in Boston.
Also present at the press conference were:
- Sam Kennedy, Boston Red Sox chief operating officer
- Gena Borson, Red Sox Foundation executive director
- Troup Parkinson, senior vice president/corporate partnerships for the Boston Red Sox
- Charles Steinberg, senior advisor to the president/CEO for the Boston Red Sox
- David Friedman, Boston Red Sox senior vice president and special counsel
- Robby Thomas, executive director of the Boston Area Church League
- William Gross, superintendent-in-chief and the first African-American chief of police in the City of Boston.
- Nora Baston, deputy superintendent for the Boston Police Department
- The Honorable Milton Wright, retired first justice of Boston’s Roxbury District Court and commissioner on the City of Boston Licensing Board
- Harold Sparrow, senior vice president for Development at YMCA of Greater Boston
- Tom Kershaw, owner of Cheers of Boston
- Pat Moscaritolo, president/CEO of the Greater Boston Visitors and Convention Bureau
- Laura Dickerson, assistant deputy superintendent for the Boston Police Department
- Abe Ayuso, lieutenant at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department
- The Honorable Ben Swan, Massachusetts state representative
- Avery Esdaile, athletic director for the Boston Public School System
- Paul McCaffrey, representative of the Boston Parks and Recreation Department
- Community partners, supporters, sports and business professionals including The Rev. Thomas Kennedy, Bert James, Kathryn Saunders, Cindy Viana, Daisy Grondin, John Thill, Courtland Bovee, Alfredo Lliriano, and Angel Martinez
During the press conference, Mangum thanked all of the sponsors of the events and said that the celebration is more than just three ball games between two MEAC rivals for FAMU. The events are designed to provide inspiration, information, and resources to the community.
“Our mission of serving the underserved dovetails perfectly with the sponsors of this celebration, which is why I am so proud to be here today representing FAMU,” said Mangum.
She added, “What distinguishes FAMU from others is its legacy of providing access to a high-quality, affordable education to many students who otherwise may never have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of getting a college degree. Helping the dreams of others to come to fruition is something that all of the organizations participating in Legacy Weekend have in common.”
In addition to the games between NCCU and FAMU, the weekend of events includes a reception on April 23, a debate hosted by Harvard University on April 24, and a college and career fair hosted by the Red Sox on April 25 at the Boston Red Sox Fenway Park Open House. All events during the HBCU Legacy Weekend are free and open to the public.
“This event is an awesome opportunity for Florida A&M athletics,” said Robinson. “It allows us to impact our recruiting and marketing efforts at another level, and continues to build on the legacy of this great institution.”
The organizers and participants collectively expressed special thanks to John Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox Baseball Team for his leadership and support of the HBCU Legacy Weekend Celebration, as well as Werner and Lucchino for their vision and leadership.
Gratitude was also expressed to Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston for rolling out the red carpet to all participants, and to Jordan for his vision to bring the historic event to the City of Boston and to the home of the Boston Red Sox.