Florida A&M University (FAMU) President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., will join thousands of alumni, students, and other stakeholders in South Florida this week for activities leading up to the Orange Blossom Classic (OBC) game against Jackson State University at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, September 5.
Scheduled events include recruiting trips, fundraisers, a soiree, a gala, a parade and other events in Fort Lauderdale and Miami Gardens. Robinson said the OBC is so much more than about football.
“This classic marks our return to South Florida, a fertile recruiting ground for FAMU. South Florida has been a major source of outstanding students and athletes coming to FAMU for many years,” Robinson said. “The Orange Blossom Classic represents a tremendous opportunity for both schools, where education and scholarships meet business and economic development, and provides opportunities for young people to go to college. That’s a winning formula.”
The gridiron matchup marks FAMU’s entrance into the Southwest Athletic Conference. It is also a revival of a decades-old rivalry and tradition. FAMU and Jackson played back-to-back OBC games in 1961 and 1962, splitting the games, with the Rattlers winning the first game 14-8, before the Tigers exacted revenge, 22-6 in 1962.
“The revival of The Orange Blossom Classic is important to everyone involved, including the HBCU community, the students who will benefit from a college education, and for Jackson State and Florida A&M University who will showcase the schools, the marching bands, the football teams and a festive weekend for South Florida,” Robinson added. “We are honored to be a part of its revival.”
The week’s activities are about recruiting the next generation Rattlers as well as raising funds for scholarships to assist current students.
The FAMU National Alumni Association (NAA) will host its inaugural Summer Breeze Soiree 6 p.m. Friday, September 3 at the Westin Beach Resort on Fort Lauderdale Beach. The event will honor Board of Trustees Chairman Kelvin Lawson,
Trustees David Lawrence and Nicole Washington, First Lady Sharon Robinson, and a number of alumni, including retired Col. Brodes Hartley, Jr., rapper Luke Campbell, William Bryant, Angela Suggs, and Kendra Bullock Major, Oliver Gilbert and Marching “100” Band Director Shelby Chipman, Ph.D.
The event is a signature fundraising endeavor in collaboration with the Orange Blossom Classic to support the NAA’s Save Our Students (SOS Retention Scholarship. More than 700 students have received more than $700,000 in SOS funding since the program’s inception in 2016.
The SOS program has helped change the academic trajectory for hundreds of FAMU students on a track toward graduation, said FAMU NAA President Col. Gregory Clark, who was instrumental in reviving the OBC.
“Many of our students struggle to graduate in four years, not because of grades but because of money. By donating to SOS, you help us help students graduate on time,” Clark said. “The sooner they graduate, the sooner they can go on to accomplish great things in the world. The more funding, we get to advance the university and help other students succeed. It’s another way to reflect ‘Excellence with Caring.’”
For OBC events visit: https://www.hardrockstadium.com/orange-blossom-classic/