By Tenae Taylor
The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Royal Court Luncheon is not a headliner on the Homecoming schedule. But for those who attended Tuesday’s event, it was time well spent. Here are three highlights:
1. Coach Willie Simmons’ Love Journey
During his introduction of his wife Shaia Simmons, Head Football Coach Willie Simmons spoke of their shared Gadsden County history – he has known her for most of his life. He recalls when he was in the sixth grade and she was an eighth grader. The two have a blended family of five children with twins on the way. The Simmons family will be cheering loudly at Bragg Stadium for the Homecoming game versus North Carolina Central University.
2. Shaia Simmons’ Words of Inspiration
The First Lady of FAMU football Shaia Simmons was the keynote speaker. With a mixture of personal and family anecdotes and inspiring words, the two-time FAMU graduate brought the Grand Ballroom audience to life. Her message of being “royal beyond the crowns and sashes” and being “born with a purpose,” received a standing ovation. Simmons earned both her bachelor and master’s degrees from FAMU and is working on a doctorate in educational leadership.
“Your are beautiful. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Your critics don’t matter. Put your pants on and rock out,” said to loud applause.
(You can read more about Simmons in the upcoming issue of A&M Magazine).
3. Recognition For Patricia Green-Powell
While many in attendance were asked to stand and be recognized, Patricia Green-Powell, Ph.D., received special attention. Shaia Simmons acknowledged Green-Powell as a mentor, educator and role model from Gadsden County while staff and students recognized the interim director of the FAMU Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI) for her service to the University.
Green-Powell has held different titles, including vice president of Student Affairs and twice as interim dean of the College of Education. For years, Green-Powell has conducted an etiquette workshop with female members of the Royal Court.