Dear FAMU Family and Friends,
As the fall semester comes to a close, I am proud to read FAMU Forward and share the exciting stories about our students, faculty, staff and alumni. It is an opportunity to reflect on a great year of “FAMU Rising,” including FAMU’s reaffirmation of its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The accrediting agency delivered the great news on Tuesday during its annual meeting, one of several major convenings in December that impact the future of FAMU and the nation.
Last week, I had the honor of participating in two historic sessions in Washington, D.C. I joined fellow members of the national Committee on STEM Education at the White House for the release of a report titled, “Charting A Course For Success: America’s Strategy For STEM Education.” Diversity, equity and inclusion are top tier goals in the five-year strategic plan.
I also attended a historic meeting with FAMU’s director of the Meek-Eaton Black Archives, Nashid Madyun, D.M., at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The meeting with leaders of the Museum was their first ever with historically Black colleges and universities to help raise awareness about our archives.
Just before the Winter Break, the University celebrates fall commencement. In this edition of FAMU Forward, read about our history-making commencement speaker, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings and his familial ties to FAMU.
In addition to saluting more than 650 graduates, join me in celebrating the achievements of:
· FAMU student Jeffrey Simmons, recipient of the prestigious Charles Rangel Fellowship;
· Alumna Deidre Mathis, the first African-American owner of a hostel in the U.S.;
· FAMU’s Division of Physical Therapy, which received great news from its accrediting agency; and
· FAMU’s Essential Theatre, which brings to life another wonderful production in “Sugar Ray.” The play showcases the life and times of boxing legend “Sugar Ray” Robinson with alumnus Reginald Wilson returning to “The Hill” in the starring role.
Plus, we can’t forget the outstanding 2018 football season and Coach Willie Simmons first year as head coach. The Rattlers finished 6-5 overall and 5-2 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, tied for second place.
In closing, watch our Marching “100” on New Year’s Day when the band participates in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. Please remember the band and all the “FAMU Rising” strategic priorities in your gift giving.
Have a safe and happy holiday season, and let’s keep striking together for the benefit of the University. I’m looking forward to an exceptional 2019.