Nearly 700 graduates will cross the stage into the next chapter of their lives during the Florida A&M University (FAMU) fall commencement ceremonies on Friday, December 14 at 6 p.m., and Saturday, December 15 at 9 a.m.
The ceremonies will be held in the Al Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium. Events will include Army and Navy commissioning programs that will take place during Saturday’s ceremony.
Graduates will be awarded degrees from the University’s 14 colleges and schools ranging from public relations and physics to education and economics. They will be addressed by a Floridian who has made history in both law enforcement and government three times – newly elected Orange County, Florida Mayor Jerry L. Demings.
Demings, whose three sons all attended FAMU, was sworn in as the first African-American mayor of Orange County on December 4, and has held the distinction of previously serving as Orlando’s first African-American police chief and the first African-American to serve as Orange County’s sheriff.
He will use his experiences from his barrier-breaking career as inspiration for his address to the graduates, as he encourages them to make their own marks on the world.
In addition to being closely tied to Tallahassee by being an active parent at FAMU, Demings is also a proud graduate of Florida State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in finance. His wife, Valdez, has also made history. She served as Orlando’s first female police chief and was later elected to serve in the United States Congress.
Demings has been recognized by Orlando Magazine as one of the 50 most influential Central Floridians each year since 2009 and has been recognized by the Orlando Sentinel for many years as one of the 25 most influential people in the area. His leadership has been recognized during crises such as the events of 9/11, the Florida hurricanes of 2004, the Casey Anthony trial of 2009-2010, and the June 12, 2016 Orlando massacres. He was appointed to the FEMA National Advisory Council in July 2014, and served until 2018.
He is a graduate of the 194th session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy and studied at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. He received a Master of Business Administration from Orlando College, which is now Everest University.
The commencement schedule is as follows:
Friday, December 14, 2018 at 6 p.m.
· College of Engineering (FAMU/FSU)
· School of Allied Health Sciences
· School of Architecture and Engineering Technology
· School of Business and Industry
· School of the Environment
· School of Nursing
· School of Journalism & Graphic Communication
Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 9 a.m.
· College of Agriculture and Food Sciences
· College of Education
· College of Law
· College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
· College of Science and Technology
· College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities
*Doors will open one hour prior to the start of each ceremony.