More than 1,100 Rattlers walked across the stage during Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s (FAMU) 2017 Spring Commencement Ceremonies last week at the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium.
After earning degrees from one of FAMU’s 14 colleges and schools, graduates reaped the benefits of years of study and dedication surrounded by enthusiastic family members, friends and supporters.
During his Friday evening commencement address, Arnold Donald, president and chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation & PLC, the largest travel and leisure company in the world, advised the graduates to passionately pursue fulfillment in life.
“As of today you take charge of your life. Your decisions define who you are,” Donald said. “My best piece of advice is to tell you to build a team around you to help you achieve,” he added.
Two honorary doctorates were awarded to esteemed FAMU alumni during the weekend. The first was awarded to Garth C. Reeves Sr., a highly accomplished journalist who most notably served as the long-time publisher and CEO of the Miami Times newspaper. The second honorary degree was awarded posthumously to Raymond A. Brown a legendary civil rights attorney, whose reputation as a defender of the oppressed inspired a generation of African-American attorneys.
In her address to graduates on Saturday morning, Roslyn M. Brock emphasized that although the current generation has publicly demonstrated a good amount of courage, there is still more to be accomplished.
“Graduates, don’t stop now. Get in formation and get ready to work, work, work…” Brock said. “Keep the faith and be persistent,” she added.
Shouts of joy and contentment rang out in the arena for each of the ceremonies as graduates enjoyed the big moment many of them had dreamed about for years. During the final ceremony, FAMU Trustee Thomas Dortch, Jr. CEO of TWD, Inc., reminded graduates of the success the University has prepared them to accomplish and their obligation to build bridges for future Rattlers.
“At the end of the day you change your community, be relevant. Florida A&M University has prepared you for anything you face in life,” Dortch said.