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Frederick S. Humphries will Keynote Founders Day Convocation in Celebration of the University 125 Anniversary

September 17, 2012

– Frederick S. Humphries, a renowned scholar, admired public servant and eighth president of Florida A&M University (FAMU), will keynote FAMU’s Founders Day Convocation on Wednesday, October 3, at 10:10 a.m. in Alfred L. Lawson Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium. This year’s Founders Convocation marks FAMU’s 125th anniversary.  The general public is invited to attend.

During his nearly 17-year tenure at FAMU, where he created the Life Gets Better and Graduate School Feeder Programs (GSFB), he more than doubled enrollment while simultaneously raising academic standards. He increased the number of National Achievement Scholars at the school ranking first in the nation three times, out recruiting Harvard and Stanford, and made FAMU the nation’s number one producer of African Americans with baccalaureate degrees and third in the nation as the baccalaureate institution of origin for African-American doctoral degree recipients. His crowning achievement came when FAMU was selected as the first ever TIME Magazine/Princeton Review “College of the Year” in 1997.

Humphries is respected throughout the United States and internationally for his keen insights on the education of minority students, particularly in math and science, and his unique and visionary approaches to producing successful educational outcomes in underrepresented disciplines. 

He has served as chairman and Board of Directors of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges; member of the Board of Trustees for the  University of Pittsburgh and member of former President Bill Clinton’s White House Advisory Committee on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Corporate America has also sought his expertise as a member of the Board of Directors of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; Brinker International; Barnett Bank (Bank of America), Florida; the National Merit Corporation; the Princeton Review, Academy for Educational Development (AED) and as founder and board member for the Thurgood Marshall Fund.

Humphries has received numerous awards.  Below is a list of those awards.
  • Featured by General Motors for the Life Gets Better program in a print advertising campaign titled "And Life Gets Better"
  • Thurgood Marshall Award for Higher Education (Sponsored by the Johnson Publishing Company)
  • Drum Major for Justice Award for Higher Education (Sponsored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference - SCLC)
  • Floridian of the Year (Sponsored by the Orlando Sentinel)
  • Featured by Wal-Mart in a television commercial for achievements to higher education during Black History Month
  • The Trumpet Award for Education (Sponsored Time Warner - Turner Broadcasting Systems)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to African Americans in engineering (National Association of Black Engineers)
  • On the 200th Anniversary of the University of Pittsburgh, Humphries was awarded the Bicentennial Medal of Honor, this is the highest award granted by the University of Pittsburgh
  • On the 200th Anniversary of the University of Pittsburgh granting its Ph.D. in the arts and sciences, the University granted Humphries the Centennial Medallion of Honor, which is bestowed upon their most distinguished alumni.  Only five people have ever received this award from the University.
  • On the 100th Anniversary of FAMU, Humphries was awarded the Centennial Medallion for outstanding achievement.  Only 100 people have received this award.
Humphries has a B.S. degree in chemistry from FAMU (magna cum laude) and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh, where he was the first African American to obtain a Ph.D. in this discipline.

For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (850) 599-3413.

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