Welcome to a special edition of FAMU Forward, which recaps our 2017 Homecoming Week, titled, “A FAMUly Reunion: Celebrating 130 Years of Excellence.”
I want to pause to thank the students who worked together to edit and write for this issue. We truly have some of the most talented young minds in the world on our campus.
During Homecoming, we came together to celebrate our dynamic past and envision the great possibilities of our future – and the world took notice. We were named by ESPN’s “The Undefeated” as the best HBCU homecoming!
It was truly inspiring to see so many Rattlers – from all walks of life – representing so many generations and locations, united to celebrate FAMU’s impact and its success. To the thousands of alumni, fans, and supporters who traveled from across the country, and in some cases the world, to participate in our Homecoming activities, thank you for all that you do to uplift FAMU.
I especially want to thank our staff and volunteers who made all of the events possible. I would also like to thank those of you who contributed to the various fundraising opportunities during our events, including our 130th-anniversary gala, the Young Alumni Giving brunch, and the check presentations during convocation, the game, and at your respective college and school events.
Your unwavering commitment to FAMU will help us continue to offer a world-class education to some of the nation’s best and brightest students.
Since our humble beginnings in 1887, with just two instructors and 15 students, FAMU has risen to a special place as a leading higher education institution in not only our state but around the nation.
Just ask U.S. News & World Report, which now ranks FAMU as the No. 1 public HBCU, the No. 6 overall HBCU and among America’s “best colleges.” To top it all off, we had several new milestones to celebrate this Homecoming.
We announced two new records set this year for FAMU. For the 2016-2017 fiscal year, thanks to the work of our Division of University Advancement, alumni, supporters, and partners, we received more than $8.5 million in gifts and pledges – one of the largest single-year successes in more than a decade.
We also announced that enrollment at FAMU for the 2017-2018 academic year had reached almost 9,900, the highest enrollment has been since 2014.
I see only great things in FAMU’s future because of your work, contributions, accomplishments, achievements, and talent that will only continue to grow.
Those great things include the U.S. Department of Commerce awarding $483,000 over three years to FAMU’s new Research, Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Hub, also known as REACH; and the Economic Development Administration awarding FAMU $590,000 over five years for our new FAMU Innovation Center Programs.
We also proudly announced at Homecoming a new partnership with the Boys and Girls Club to provide scholarship opportunities to students interested in STEM disciplines. More details will be announced soon.
These are just examples of the great things that happen when the Rattler family comes together and works together to preserve FAMU’s legacy of love and charity. We must remain steadfast in our challenges to fight and win whatever the battle may be.
We must continue our commitment to cherish this sacred place because in FAMU are the hopes and dreams of generations.
We must shout from the mountain tops all of the great things happening at FAMU every day.
I look forward to welcoming you back to the “Hill” next year. Until then, “Keep Striking Rattlers!”