Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) today announced plans for the inauguration of its 11th president, Elmira Mangum, Ph.D., which will also mark the launch of a major fundraising effort for scholarships at the 127-year-old institution.
President Mangum, who began her tenure at the university on April 1, 2014, as the first female President in the school’s history, will be formally sworn in on October 3, 2014. Her installation represents a renaissance in the university’s legacy as a premier land-grant research institution, and a revival of the institution’s mission to provide its students – many of whom are economically underserved – with the ability to forge successful careers in today’s competitive global environment as leaders in the fields of science, technology, research, engineering, agriculture, and mathematics (STREAM).
This renaissance will be celebrated during a week-long inaugural commemoration themed, “It’s a New Season,” which will take place September 28 – October 4. Among the highlights of the celebration will be the Inaugural Scholarship Gala, to be held at 7:30 p.m. on October 3, at FAMU’s Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium, located at 1800 Wahnish Way, Tallahassee.
As part of President Mangum’s vision, the gala will not only serve as a celebration of the institution’s eminent and pioneering past and present milestones, but will also celebrate the university’s strongest asset – its students. Additionally, the gala will represent a starting point for an ongoing capital campaign to establish scholarships that will assist economically underserved students with completion of their college educations, and assist the university in cultivating the best and brightest students from around the globe. President Mangum has set an initial goal of $500,000 to be raised.
“My presidency represents a new chapter at FAMU, a narrative that to be truly successful needs the united efforts of the FAMU community to affirm the university’s future as a ‘Best in Class’ global institution,” Mangum explained. “With this in mind, there is no better way to celebrate this important moment in our history than to have all Rattlers home to join together and help continue FAMU’s rich legacy with the overarching goal of raising funds and awareness to support scholarships and other key institutional priorities.”
To assist in reaching the initial $500,000 mark, President Mangum announced the appointment of three of the university’s most distinguished alumni to chair the gala. Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks and Daryl D. Parks, will serve as co-chairs for the gala, along with Bernard Kinsey, who will serve as the honorary co-chair. The co-chairs are charged with assisting the president with her fundraising and alumni outreach efforts in preparation for the gala.
“Mrs. Lettman-Hicks, Mr. Parks and Mr. Kinsey are illustrative of the critical role that the university plays in helping to produce individuals who make profound and lasting contributions to their communities, the nation and the world,” she said. “This dynamic group of successful alums brings a collective lineage of inspiring and rallying the university community, which is the purpose of the gala.”
- Lettman-Hicks is a member of President Barack Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans and serves as CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition.
- Parks is managing partner of the law firm Parks & Crump, LLC and former president of the National Bar Association.
- Kinsey is a former national president of the FAMU National Alumni Association, and founder of KBK Enterprises, Inc., and the national touring museum exhibit “The Kinsey Collection.”
The gala co-chairs expressed confidence in their ability to help the president accomplish her mission.
“We humbly accept this charge from Dr. Mangum and give our full commitment to ensuring that the scholarship gala is not only memorable, but productive in highlighting that the university is at critical point in its history. It is essential for every member of the FAMU community and community-at-large to join Dr. Mangum in marshaling the support and the resources necessary for ensuring that FAMU forges a reputation as a preeminent global academic and research powerhouse,” said the co-chairs in a joint statement after learning of their appointments.
The inaugural gala is a black tie, red carpet event. Tickets are $150 per person and $300 for VIP admission. Sponsorship opportunities are also available and range from $2,500 – $50,000. Commemorative donations range from $100 – $10,000. All contributions made during the gala and inauguration week will be used to help support scholarships.
For more information and a full list of inaugural events: call (850) 599 8210, email email@example.com or visit www.famu.edu.