Florida A&M University (FAMU) President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., and FAMU Developmental Research School alumni gathered for an all class reunion will hold a ceremony to install a state historical marker for the Lucy Moten Elementary School building at 1 p.m., Friday, July 12, 2019.
“This is an important part of Florida A&M University’s history,” Robinson said. “Preparing students early in their academic careers, through what is now the Developmental Research School, has always been foundational to our mission. Thanks to the marker, future generations will be reminded of this significant part of our story.”
The installation ceremony for the building at 444 Gamble Street is one of the highlights of the biennial FAMU DRS all-class reunion events being held this week.
Built in 1932 on the corner of Gamble Street and South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, the red brick structure began as a practice school for training African-American teachers. It was financed by the Julius Rosenwald Fund and the General Education Board.
“It was built in the 1930s in the midst of the Great Depression. That says a lot about the savvy, determination and vision of FAMU educational leaders who were pressing on even at that difficult time. They were successful in securing resources from federal and private funds for education,” said E. Murell Dawson, Ph.D., a research associate at the Meek-Eaton Black Archives, who worked on the historical marker application.
In 1935, then Florida A&M College President J.R.E. Lee, Sr. named the school in honor of Lucy Ellen Moten, an 1870 Howard University graduate who was a leader in the normal school education movement, which focused on teacher training, during the early 20th century. She was a protégé of Frederick Douglass.
In 1953, the Lucy Moten School was recognized as part of the K-12 FAMU High Developmental Research School and was placed under the FAMU College of Education.
In 2008, FAMU DRS was relocated to a new campus at the corner of Orange Avenue and Wahnish Way. The Lucy Moten building is home to FAMU’s Office of Recruitment.