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President Ammons Challenges the University to Meet World Needs

FAMU's Tenth President James H. Ammons

August 27, 2010

– Transforming Talent to Meet World Needs was the message Florida A&M University (FAMU) President James H. Ammons delivered during his state of the university address to administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni and retirees.

“The educational process is crucial to our nation’s success in a global knowledge-based economy,” said Ammons.  “A college or a university education is more important to our collective prosperity today than ever before. Innovation through research also is important to our nation’s success in this highly competitive global marketplace.”

Ammons stated that FAMU’s future is guided by an ambitious strategic plan titled “20/20 Vision with Courage.”  He stated that by the year 2020 FAMU needs to be known nationally and internationally as a research-intensive university.  He further stated the goals for this academic year as follows:
  • Increase the retention of first-time in college students
  • Offer three new academic degree programs by June 2011  
  • Develop a comprehensive plan for athletics
  • Increase externally funded research
  • Boost corporate, foundation and alumni giving
“I think the President’s address was very appropriate due to the financial hard times we are facing,” said Stephen White, 24, a senior graphic communication student from Atlanta, Ga. “His strategic plan is something to strive toward, which will help the university move forward in a positive direction.”

Speaking of students, Ammons shared with the audience that this fall FAMU has enrolled 13,068 students, including 2,700 freshmen.  Within the student body, he pointed out that among the freshman class there are National Achievement Scholars and National Achievement finalists.

Ammons also shared how he plans for the University to use its strengths to further build the intellectual capital and economy of this state.  

“One of our most impactful ways of supporting “New Florida,” an initiative of Chancellor Frank Brogan to innovatively impact Florida’s economy, is through the proposed FAMU College of Dental Medicine if approved,” said Ammons.

According to Ammons there is a strong need for this program because many Floridians have inadequate access to dental services.  

“In this state, only 11 percent of low-income people living in rural areas see a dentist annually,” he said.

Ammons concluded his address by charging the FAMU community to step out on faith and work to transform their talents into leadership that addresses the global needs of the world.

Following the keynote address, Julian White, Ph.D., director of Bands, introduced the Marching “100” and the “Presidential Ten” drum majors. Joe Taylor, head football coach, introduced the coaching staff and the Rattler Football team to the university community. Volleyball coach Tony Trifonov and Darlene Moore, cross-country coach, introduced their coaching staff and team. The convocation concluded with the singing of the alma mater.

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