Florida A&M University (FAMU) celebrated Wednesday the opening of the new Center for Access and Student Success (CASS) complex, which houses a variety of student services under one roof.
The $41 million, three-story, 87,000-square-foot CASS complex, located at 1735 Wahnish Way, was built with funding from the state Legislature. A 42-foot, 1800-pound sculpted bronze statue at the front of the building has become a favorite for students and alumni taking campus photos.
In remarks during the ceremony, President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., praised the efforts of those who contributed to the completion of the project after a number of difficult years. Among them, he lauded former Director of Governmental Relations Barbara Cohen-Pippen, Delores Glover from the FAMU Title III Office, alumnus Tola Thompson, a former congressional aide and now a lobbyist with Ballard Partners, state Rep. Ramon Alexander, his predecessor former legislator Alan Williams, and others.
“The work that led to the opening of this facility reflects our commitment to the success of our students. This ribbon cutting symbolizes the continuation of our commitment to ‘Excellence with Caring,’” Robinson said. “Not everyone who enters this facility, walks past it on their way to classes, or drives along Wahnish Way on their journey to work, will know the story of how we got to this point. Let us not forget the struggle, for it will help us appreciate this facility more. Let us not forget those who worked with us to arrive at this day, for this will allow us to appreciate their resolve and dedication to ensuring that the students at Florida A&M University continue to rise and contribute to the prosperity of this community and communities throughout the state of Florida.”
The CASS complex is home to the Division of Student Affairs, along with the Center for Disability Access and Resources, Student Health Services, Student Counseling Services, Admissions and Enrollment Management, Ignite Transfer Services, Registrar, Student Accounts, Center for Academic Advising and Student Success, Office of Financial Aid, Career and Professional Development Center, Military and Veterans Affairs, University Scholarship Office, University Housing, Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, and the University Ombudsman.
William E. Hudson, Jr., Ph.D., vice president for Student Affairs, and his staff moved into the building in December.
“It’s a dream come true to have a one-stop student services facility that the students can be proud of,” Hudson said.