Nearly 1,200 Florida A&M University (FAMU) graduates will begin the next chapter of their lives this month as they receive their diplomas during the spring 2017 commencement exercises in the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium.
There will be three ceremonies. The first will take place on Friday, April 28 at 6 p.m. and two ceremonies will follow on Saturday, April 29 at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Arnold Donald, president and chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation & PLC, the largest travel and leisure company in the world, will address graduates on Friday, April 28. Under Donald’s leadership, Carnival’s portfolio of 10 cruise brands includes Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn, all based throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
The ceremony will include graduates from the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, College of Education, School of Allied Health Sciences, School of Business and Industry and School of Journalism & Graphic Communication.
During the ceremony, alumnus Garth C. Reeves will receive an honorary doctorate. Reeves is a business executive who is the former publisher and CEO of the Miami Times newspaper and U.S. Army combat veteran who served during World War II.
He was the organizing chairman of the board of the National Industrial Bank, widely recognized as the first integrated bank in the state of Florida.
Also, alumni from the classes of 1947, 1957 and 1967 will celebrate their respective anniversaries as graduates from the University. Among the alumni celebrating will be former FAMU President Frederick S. Humphries, Ph.D., who will mark his 60th anniversary as an alumnus.
Roslyn M. Brock, chair emeritus of the NAACP Board of Directors and vice president for Advocacy and Government Relations for Bon Secours Health System, Inc., will serve as the commencement speaker for the 9 a.m. ceremony on Saturday, April 29. Brock is the youngest person to be elected chair of the NAACP Board of Directors.
The 9 a.m. ceremony will include graduates from the College of Science and Technology, College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities and the School of the Environment.
Thomas W. Dortch Jr., a member of the FAMU Board of Trustees and chairman and CEO of TWD, Inc., will serve as the commencement speaker at 2 p.m., on Saturday, April 29. Dortch is chair emeritus of the 100 Black Men of America, which expanded globally under his leadership. He is the first African American in U.S. Senate history to serve as state director and chief administrator for a U.S. Senator.
The ceremony will include graduates from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, College of Law, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Architecture and Engineering Technology and School of Nursing.
An honorary doctorate will be awarded posthumously to Raymond A. Brown, one of the most influential criminal and civil rights attorneys of the century. A U.S. Army Veteran, who served during World War II, Brown became one of the first African-American officers in the desegregated Army before retiring from the National Guard at the rank of full colonel. In addition to serving as a volunteer lawyer for the NAACP, he also served as president of the New Jersey Chapter of the NAACP for 12 years.