Tallahassee, FL. – With Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) 120th anniversary and homecoming well underway, the university celebrated the Homecoming Convocation at the Jake Gaither Gym.
This year’s homecoming theme, “The Rattler Renaissance; A Rebirth of Rattler Pride and Spirit,” encompasses the renewal of the institution in every aspect. Alvin Bryant, president of the FAMU National Alumni Chapter, greetings embodied the theme.
“Although we’ve been through tumultuous times,” said Bryant. “This is a time of togetherness and rebuilding of strength.”
FAMU’s Marching “100” enthused the crowd with “FAMU Spirit,” “Rattler Orange & Green,” and “S.O.S.” while FAMU’s world-renowned gospel choir serenaded the audience with “More Abundantly” and “I Will Bless the Lord.” Cheerleaders kept the crowd roaring while the 2007-2008 Royal Court was introduced and past Miss FAMUs of the 30s and 40s were recognized. Even former FAMU presidents Fred Gainous and Fredrick Humphries were in attendance.
FAMU President James H. Ammons described the keynote speaker, William Packer, film producer and FAMU graduate, as “an outstanding and gifted Rattler.”
“Never has there been a more important time, and never have we had to be more responsible for being African-American,” Packer said. “We’re about to inherit the world. No one prepares our young people for the world like HBCU’s and no HBCU prepares our young people like Florida A&M University.”
Packer ended his speech by explaining the importance of giving back to the institution he cherishes, and by giving Ammons a check for $10,000. As it turned out, this was the first in a series of eight checks to be presented to President Ammons.
Col. Ronald Joe, interim vice president for university relations, reintroduced Ammons for an announcement regarding a new fundraising effort.
In the midst of the Marching “100” playing the Tom Joyner Morning Show’s theme song and a swarm of orange and green balloons falling the gym ceiling onto a plethora of prestigious guests, Ammons said, “I am proud to announce the official launch of the fundraising campaign for Florida A&M University,” he said. “We have been selected to as the Tom Joyner School of the Month for January 2008, which is the 10th anniversary of the School of the Month effort. Today, we kickoff this campaign with efforts donations made by FAMU alumni and supporters.”
A total of $682,920.10 was donated by FAMU’s Student Government Association, the National Diamondback Pharmacy Council, the Florida Region of the National Alumni Association, the FAMU Industry Cluster and other supporters.
Ammons thanked each of the contributors and encouraged the audience of Rattlers past and present to continue the effort to raise dollars for the campaign. Ammons ended the convocation with the famous FAMU mantra, the Rattler Charge.
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