The Florida A&M University National Alumni Association (FAMU NAA) honored five veterans for their military service and for their contributions to the University on Veterans Day.
During a virtual ceremony Wednesday evening, the NAA honored retired Col. Keith Stubbs, retired Lt. Col. Ricardo Kinsey, retired Col. Sam Driver, retired Col. Miciotto O. Johnson and retired Lt. Col. Maurice S. Pickett Sr., Ed.D. with the Brigadier General Leroy Bell Military Leadership Award.
NAA President Col. Greg Clark said the award was established in 2018 to honor veterans for their military service and their contributions to the University. Veterans who are alumni and veterans who are supporters of the University are eligible for the award.
“It’s not just service. It’s about giving back to the University,” Clark said. “It could be recruiting students, giving back, being an advocate. You have to do something beyond service.”
Retired Col. Keith Stubbs
Retired Col. Sam Driver served in the United States Army for 28 years active and reserve duty. He was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Commendation Medal, Bronze Star Award and Army Commendation Award.
He is a life Member of FAMU NAA and a member of the NAA Plant City Chapter. Stubbs was four-year FAMU Rattler Battalion scholarship recipient and a Distinguished Army ROTC graduate, who was commissioned in 1986 into the Military Police Officer Corps. He established the Colonel Keith Stubbs Scholarship to support students from King High School, Bartow High School, and Howard Blake High Schools attending FAMU. He is a peer mentor with the Wounded Warrior Project where he assists fellow veterans’ transition to civilian life and ensure skills and lessons learned from military service extends to a meaningful life and career.
Stubbs is an annual and consistent supporter of FAMU athletics; within the last 24 months, he donated more than $22,000 in the new Investing in Champions program; provides additional targeted support to men and women’s basketball, softball, and men’s golf.
Retired Lt. Col. Ricardo Kinsey
Retired Lt. Col. Ricardo Kinsey is a Tampa native who graduated from FAMU with a bachelor’s in Business Administration. He holds master’s degrees from Florida Institute of Technology, the University of Phoenix and Argosy University. His military service includes time in the infantry and in maintenance battalions.
Since his retirement, Kinsey has established five endowed scholarships at Florida A&M University as well as the LTC Ricardo Kinsey Scholarship for high school seniors. He has provided 14 scholarships to high school students.
He was awarded the FAMU NAA Distinguished Alumni Award in 2018 for community service. He was recognized by FAMU in 2019 for his continued support of student athletes.
Kinsey was also instrumental in creating the Te-Andre Brown Endowed Scholarship in memory of Te-Andre Brown, a Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet, who drowned in Panama City in March.
Retired Col. Samuel Driver
Retired Col. Sam Driver is a 1990 distinguished military graduate of FAMU. He served globally as an Army officer before returning to FAMU from 1997-2000 as an assistant professor of Military Science in the FAMU Army ROTC program. He received many military awards including the Japan Defense Cooperation Award, Meritorious Service Medal (5th Award), Legion of Merit (3rd Award), and the Bronze Star. He attained the rank of colonel in 2014 and retired from the U.S Army in 2017 after 25 years of service.
Retired Col. Miciotto O. Johnson
Retired Col. Miciotto O. Johnson of Atlanta graduated from FAMU with a bachelor’s in music education. He was commissioned in Armor in 1986 and holds a master’s from Webster University in information management and computer resource, and a master’s from the United States War College in Strategic Studies. He retired in 2015 after almost 30 years in the U.S. Army.
Retired Lt. Col. Maurice S. Pickett Sr.
Retired Lt. Col Maurice S. Pickett Sr., Ed.D., who grew up in Hawkinsville, Georgia. In 1986, Pickett graduated with honors from FAMU and simultaneously, was commissioned Regular Army second lieutenant.
He retired in 2006 after 23 years of military service. Pickett has worked at United States Special Operations Command and serves as the Joint Language Training Ad-minister and Contracting Officer Representative for the Joint Special Operations Forces Foreign Language Training Program.
Pickett also served as the vice-president of the Washington, D.C., Alumni Chapter, is the immediate past president of the Plant City, Fla., Chapter and past Florida Region vice-president.