By DaMarcus Snipes
This year’s “FAMUly Reunion” Homecoming theme came to life during the annual Homecoming Convocation, as Rattlers from multiple generations packed into the Al Lawson Center displaying a sea of orange and green.
The convocation program was filled with history and celebrations of the University’s progress since its founding on October 3, 1887.
Participating in the event was the first-ever Mr. FAMU, Charles W. Lattimore, who continuously kept spirits high with FAMU nostalgia as he presided over the event. A special guest in the audience was Ms. Norma White, the first female member to join the FAMU Marching “100.”
Several notable alumni participated in the celebratory event, including the creator and showrunner of the hit series “GIANTS,” James Bland, former University trustee and world-renowned attorney Daryl Parks, and actor and community advocate Montrel Miller, who served as the convocation speaker and delivered a moving speech.
Miller implored the room to share their gifts with the world and to let their lights shine no matter what they face or how long it takes.
“For anyone who thinks it’s too late to share their gifts, I’m here to tell you that it’s never too late because you never lose your gifts,” Miller said. “The great Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years. That’s equivalent to 324 months and 9,855 days. But, he was destined to shine and shine he did.”
Throughout the event, the Marching “100,” as always, had the crowd on its feet with old and new school performances, and Director of Bands Shelby Chipman had the crowd roaring as he announced that the band will be participating in the 2019 Rose Bowl Celebration in Pasadena, California.
During the program, the Beta Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., presented the University with a donation of $5,000, and the Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., presented a $10,000 donation. Both were celebrating their anniversaries, respectively. The newly coronated Miss FAMU, Michelle “Marva” Johnson, also presented the first installment of her Miss FAMU Scholarship Award.
Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., closed out the convocation with words of gratitude and an expression of his commitment to continue to move the University forward.
“I want to assure every one of you that your unwavering commitment to FAMU is not taken lightly. The confidence you have placed in us continues to propel the University forward every day, as we work to develop and maintain programs that will position our students for excellence no matter where they go in the world.”
Guest editor Aaliyah Wilkerson contributed to this story.
A photo gallery from convocation is below.