Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
was founded as the State Normal College for Colored Students, and on October 3, 1887, it began classes with fifteen students and two instructors. Today, FAMU, as it has become affectionately known, is the premiere school among historically black colleges and universities. Prominently located on the highest hill in Florida’s capital city of Tallahassee, Florida A&M University remains the only historically black university in the eleven member State University System of Florida.
In 1884, Thomas Van Renssaler Gibbs
, a Duval County educator, was elected to the Florida legislature. Although his political career ended abruptly because of the resurgence of segregation, Representative Gibbs was successful in orchestrating the passage of House Bill 133, in 1884, which established a white normal school in Gainesville, FL, and a colored school in Jacksonville. The bill passed, creating both institutions; however, the stated decided to relocate the colored school to Tallahassee. Thomas DeSaille Tucker
[1887-1901], an attorney from Pensacola, was chosen to be the first president. Former State Representative Gibbs joined Mr. Tucker as the second faculty member. In 1891, the College received $7,500 under the Second Morrill Act for agricultural and mechanical arts education, and the State Normal College for Colored Students became Florida’s land grant institution for colored people. The original College was housed in a single white-framed building and had three departments of study and recreation. At about this time, the College was relocated from its original site on Copeland Street to its present location, and its name was changed to the State Normal and Industrial College for Colored Students.
In 1905, management of the College was transferred from the Board of Education to the Board of Control. This event was significant because it officially designated the College as an institution of higher education. The name was changed in 1909 to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes (FAMC). The following year, with an enrollment of 317 students, the college awarded its first degrees. In spite of a setback caused by a tragic fire that destroyed Duval Hall, the main building which housed the library, administrative offices, cafeteria and other college agencies, progress was made when a gift of $10,000 was presented to the College by Andrew Carnegie for the erection of a new library facility. This facility held the distinction of being the only Carnegie Library located on a black land-grant college campus. President Nathan B. Young
[1901-1923] directed the growth of the College to a four-year degree-granting institution, despite limited resources, offering the Bachelor of Science degree in education, science, home economics, agriculture and mechanical arts.
Under the administration of John Robert Edward Lee, Sr.
, [1924-1944], the College acquired much of the physical and academic image it has today. Buildings were erected; more land was purchased; more faculty were hired; courses were upgraded, and accreditation was received from several state agencies. By 1944, FAMC had constructed 48 buildings, accumulated 396 acres of land, and had 812 students and 122 staff members. In 1949, under the guidance of William H. Gray, Jr. [1944-1949], expansion, along with reorganization, continued; the College obtained an Army ROTC unit, and student enrollment grew to more than 2,000.
Perhaps one of the greatest achievements came under the presidency of Dr. George W. Gore
[1950-1968]. The Florida legislature elevated the College to university status, and in 1953, Florida A&M College became Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Obtaining university status meant restructuring existing programs and designing new academic offerings to meet the demands of producing quality students at the professional and graduate levels. Between 1953 and 1968, the Schools of Pharmacy, Law, Graduate Studies, and Nursing were created.
During the years 1950-1968, the University experienced its most rapid growth. Twenty-three buildings were constructed and renovated with costs totaling more than $14 million. These facilities included the Dairy Barn, Faculty Duplexes, Law Wing of Coleman Library, Gibbs Hall, Tucker Hall, Truth Hall, Agriculture and Home Economics Building [Perry Paige], Student Union Building, Demonstration School Building, Cafeteria, Health and Physical Education Building, Music and Fine Arts Complex, High School Gymnasium, Stadium, and Health and Physical Education Building. The FAMU Hospital was completed and became fully operational in 1956, serving as the only medical facility for Negroes within 150 miles of Tallahassee. FAMU achieved a significant first by becoming the first Negro institution to become a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Enrollment grew to more than 3,500, and the number of faculty increased by more than 500.
The 50’s and 60’s were times of social unrest and change in the nation. The students of Florida A&M University were integral in sparking a boycott of the buses in Tallahassee that successfully staged integrated the city’s public transportation. As a result of their courage and determination, the students of Florida A&M University established a legacy of social involvement and responsibility as a part of the collegiate experience for future generations of Rattlers.
The period following the turbulent 60’s brought unprecedented growth to the University. At a time when federal laws were demanding desegregation, Dr. Benjamin L. Perry, Jr.
[1968-1977] was credited with preserving the autonomy of Florida A&M. In 1971, FAMU was recognized as a full partner in the nine-university, public higher education system of Florida. The program and academic areas within the institution were extended to include the Black Archives Research Center and Museum, established as a state repository for Black History and Culture; the Division of Sponsored Research; the Program in Medical Sciences (PIMS), in conjunction with Florida State University and the University of Florida; the development of the School of Architecture; a Naval ROTC unit; establishment of the cooperative programs in agriculture; and a degree-granting program in Afro-American Studies. Enrollment increased from 3,944 (1960) to 5,024 (1970).
The University was re-organized into academic areas instead of departments. The University’s physical plants increased with the addition of the Women’s Complex (apartment-type dormitory), Clifton Dyson Pharmacy Building, new poultry building and dairy cattle resting shed, and renovation of University Commons, Coleman Library and Tucker Hall. The University Hospital, which was closed in 1971, was renovated and became the Foote-Hilyer Administration Center.
During the administration of Dr. Walter L. Smith
[1977-1985], the University grew to eleven schools and colleges and a Division of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education. In 1984, the University was granted the authority to offer its first Doctor of Philosophy degree, the Ph.D. in Pharmacology. The 80’s also saw the expansion of the Gaither Athletic Center, which included the construction of a new Women’s Athletic Complex equipped with a track, an Olympic pool, men’s and women’s weight training rooms, and softball and baseball fields. Bragg Memorial Stadium was renovated and expanded to provide seating for 25,000 spectators, and a modern field house was erected. The old laundry was converted into the Industrial Education Classroom Laboratory. New facilities were constructed to house the Schools of Allied Health Sciences, Architecture, Business and Industry and Nursing. Construction and renovation projects amounted to more than $34 million. As the University prepared to observe one hundred years of its existence, the Smith administration launched the Centennial Celebration Fund to establish a University Endowment.
In 1985, Dr. Frederick S. Humphries
[1985-2001] became the eighth president of Florida A&M University. The Humphries Years were heralded as a time of unprecedented expansion and achievement. President Humphries presided over the University’s Centennial Celebration that began with his inauguration and ended with the burying of a time capsule. During Humphries’ tenure, enrollment soared from 5,100  to 9,551 . And by the 1998-1999 school year, enrollment had reached 12,000 students. Aggressive and competitive recruitment campaigns attracted more talented students, and FAMU consistently ranked nationally among the top five colleges and universities for enrolling National Achievement finalists. In 1992, 1995 and 1997, FAMU enrolled more National Achievement finalists than Harvard, Yale and Stanford. In 1999, Black Issues in Higher Education cited FAMU for awarding more baccalaureate degrees to African-Americans than any other institution in this nation.
During the 110th Anniversary Celebration, Florida A&M University was selected by the TIME Magazine-Princeton Review as The 1997-1998 College of the Year
. FAMU was selected from among some of the most prestigious schools in the country to be the first recipient of this honor.
In 2002, as the State of Florida’s education system underwent massive reorganization, Dr. Henry L. Lewis, III
, Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was appointed interim president. Later the same year, on May 17, 2002, the Board of Trustees of Florida A&M University appointed Dr. Fred Gainous
[2002-2004], an alumnus, as the ninth president. Dr. Gainous returned to Tallahassee with a vision of creating One FAMU.
On December 14, 2004, the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees made history by appointing Dr. Castell Vaughn Bryant
as interim president. Dr. Bryant, an alumna, was the first woman to lead the University in its 117 years of existence. President Bryant came with the mission of revitalizing and restructuring the University for the twenty-first century.
Originally designed to meet the needs of the underrepresented and the underprivileged, Florida A&M University continues to serve the citizens of Florida and the world through its provision of pre-eminent educational programs. These programs are the building blocks of a legacy for the hallmark of Florida A&M University: “Excellence with Caring.” FAMU, Florida’s Opportunity University, is committed to meeting the challenges and need of future generations.
On July 2, 2007, Dr. James H. Ammons
, became the tenth president of Florida A&M University. Prior to his appointment, he served as Chancellor of North Carolina Central University (NCCU) from 2001 through 2006 and as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at FAMU.
While provost at Florida A&M University, he developed more than 22 bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs, and he worked to reestablish the FAMU College of Law. At NCCU, enrollment reached an all-time high during his tenure, climbing from 5,476 in 2000-2001 to 8,675 in 2006-2007 – a 58.4 percent increase. NCCU became the fastest growing institution in the University of North Carolina System.
Since Dr. Ammons’ arrival at the University, he has built a top-notch, strong leadership team. In addition, he secured accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education in which the board voted to reaffirm the College’s accreditation status through June 30, 2010. Under his leadership, FAMU also received its first unqualified audit in three years from the Auditor General’s Office; and this summer, the University will enroll students for the first time in a new doctorate program in physical therapy.
Thomas DeSaille Tucker [1887-1901]
Nathan B. Young [1901-1923]
W. H. A. Howard [1923-1924]*
John Robert Edwards Lee, Sr. [1924-1944]
Jubie B. Bragg *
William H. Gray, Jr. [1944-1949]
H. Manning Efferson [1949-1950]*
George W. Gore [1950-1969]
Benjamin L. Perry [1968-1977]
Walter L. Smith [1977-1985]
Frederick S. Humphries [1985-2001]
Henry Lewis, III *
Fred Gainous [2002-2004]
Castell Vaughn Bryant [2004 - 2007]*
James H. Ammons [2007 - Present]
* Served/Serving in an acting or interim capacity
Florida A&M University, a member of the State University System (SUS), is under the supervision of the FAMU Board of Trustees. The FAMU Board of Trustees is comprised of twelve citizens and one student representative.
The president of the university is appointed by the Board and administers the affairs of the university with the assistance of administrative officers, faculty, and staff. General Purpose:
Role of FAMU within the State University System-One of ten universities in the State University System of Florida, Florida A&M University receives the definition of its role from the Board of Governors, the governing body of the State University System. The university is designated as a general purpose institution with curricular offerings in most of the arts and sciences, business, and education at the baccalaureate level and in some graduate degree programs. Further, the University has been directed to develop a set of academic programs to attract a statewide, rather than a more limited regional, student population, (CF Plans for Equalizing Educational Opportunities in Public Higher Education in Florida, February, 1974, Addenda, pp.7 ). Specific Purpose
- Within the Board of Governors’ guidelines, the FAMU community endorses a more specific statement of purpose for the university.
Philosophically, the university is dedicated to the traditional ideals of learning, focusing its attention and efforts upon the creation, transmission, and application of knowledge. These ideals dictate that FAMU’s primary purpose is to advance learning and, thereby, contribute to improving the quality of life for its constituents and their society.
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University will provide the citizens of Florida, the nation, and the world with inspirational teaching, relevant research, and meaningful service by offering opportunities to enhance humankind.
The mission of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), as an 1890 land-grant institution, is to provide an enlightened and enriched academic, intellectual, moral, cultural, ethical, technological and student-centered environment, conducive to the development of highly qualified individuals who are prepared and capable of serving as leaders and contributors in our ever-evolving society. The University seeks and supports a faculty and staff of distinction dedicated to providing outstanding academic preparation at the undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional school levels with a particular emphasis on integrity and ethical conduct. FAMU is committed to inspirational teaching, exemplary research and meaningful public and community service through creative partnerships at the local, state, national and global levels. The University is also committed to the resolution of complex issues that will enhance humankind.
While the University continues its historic mission of educating African Americans, persons of all races, ethnic origins and nationalities are welcomed and encouraged to remain life-long members of the university community. The University, through its diverse faculty and staff, provides a caring, nurturing, collegial and respectful environment.
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University holds the following values essential to the achievement of the University’s mission:
It is the policy of Florida A&M University to assure that each member of the university community is permitted to work or attend classes in an environment free from any form of discrimination, including race, religion, color, age, handicap, sex, marital status, national origin, veteran status, and sexual harassment as prohibited by state and federal statutes. This shall include applicants for admission to the university and employment.
Questions concerning this policy and procedures for filing complaints under the policy should be directed to the University EEO/EEA Officer.
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097-4501: Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award the baccalaureate, master’s, professional and doctoral degrees. Inquiries to the Commission should relate only to the accreditation status of the institution and not to general admission information.
The University also has membership in, or affiliation with, the following agencies:
Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology
Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
Accrediting Council on Collegiate Graphic Communication
Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business
American Association for Higher Education
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
American Association of State Colleges and Universities (For participation in Federal Programs)
American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care
American Council on Education
American Council on Pharmaceutical Education
American Health Information Management Association
American Library Association
American Society for Engineering Education
American Occupational Therapy Association
American Physical Therapy Association
American Section of the International Solar Energy Society, Inc.
American Society of Composers and Publishers
American Society of Journalism
Association for Minority Health Professions Schools
Association of College and University Auditors
Association of Colleges and Schools of Education in State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and Affiliated Private Universities
Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture
Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication
Association of Student Chapters of the American Institute of Architects
Association of University Programs in Health Administration
Broadcast Education Association
College and University Personnel Association
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs
Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education
Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation / Joint Review Committee for Respiratory Therapy Education
Conference on Deans of Black Graduate Schools
Consultative Council of the National Institute of Building Sciences
Council for Advancement and Support of Education
Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences
Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools
Council on Social Work Education
Florida Association of Broadcasters
Florida Association of Colleges and Universities
Florida Association of Collegiate Registrars and Officers
Florida Association of Community Colleges
Florida Association of School Administrators
Florida Association of Student Councils
Florida Association of School Financial Aid Administrators
Florida High School Athletic Association
Florida Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
Florida Bandmasters Association
Florida Committee Commission on Secondary Schools
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Florida Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
Florida Health Care Association
Florida Press Association
Florida State Board of Nursing
Institute of Food Technologists
International Association of Counseling Services
1890 Land Grant Library Deans/Directors Association
NABTE Member Schools and Universities
National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
National Association of College Auxiliary Services
National Association of College Deans, Registrars, and Admissions Officers
National Association of College and University Attorneys
National Association of College and University Business Officers
National Association of Educational Buyers
National Association of Printers and Lithographers
National Association of State University and Land-Grant Colleges
National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
National Association of Title III Administrators
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
National Council for Science & the Environment
National Council of University Research Administrators
National Fire Protection
National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc.
National Society of Allied Health Professions
New Media Consortium
New South Women’s Athletic Conference
National University Continuing Education Association
Pan Handle Access Network (PLAN)
Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
Southern Business Administration Association
Southern Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing
Southern Growth Policies Board
Southeastern Library Network (Solinet)
The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism andMass Communication
The American Federation of Arts
The Association for Institutional Research
The Association for Institutional Research Society ofResearch Administrators
The Association of Physical Plant Administrators of Colleges
The College Board News
The Council of Graduate Schools in the United States
The Mathematical Association of America
The National Architectural Accrediting Board
The National Association of Laboratory Schools
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administration
The Society for College and University Planning
U.S. Naval Sailing Association
The University campus is comprised of 156 buildings situated on 423 acres in the heart of Tallahassee. These physical assets are valued at approximately $409,829,000. As the University modernizes and expands to accommodate its increasing academic and professional programs, the physical plant and facilities planning functions continue to grow.
The most recent capital improvement projects completed by the University include: DRS, $29 million; University Commons, $14 million and the Multi-Purpose Center/Teaching Gym, $31 million.
In addition to major facilities, the program includes $17 million of utility improvements to support those projects and future campus development with electrical upgrades and general infrastructure technology improvements, campus outdoor lighting, walkways and landscape, utility system and roadway infrastructure systems throughout campus.
Current projects in design and negotiations include renovation of Jones Hall, Tucker Hall and Gore Educational Complex.
Residence Instruction-In response to changing occupational needs and interests of its students and in an effort to attract a more diversified student population to the university, Florida A&M University has undergone a reorganization. The university now has six colleges, seven schools and one institute. COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
College Level Academic Skills ProgramCOLLEGE OF EDUCATION
Department of Army ROTC
Department of Biology
Department of Chemistry
Department of Computer Information Sciences
Department of Economics
Department of English
Department of History, Political Science, and
African American Studies
Department of Foreign Languages
Department of Mathematics
Department of Music
Department of Physics
Department of Psychology
Department of Social Work
Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice
Department of Visual Art, Humanities, and Theatre
Department of Educational Leadership and Human ServicesCOLLEGE OF ENGINEERING SCIENCES, TECHNOLOGY, AND AGRICULTURE
Department of Elementary Education
Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
Department of Industrial Arts and Vocational Education
Department of Secondary Education and Foundations
Florida A&M University Developmental Research School
Division of Agricultural SciencesFAMU-FSU COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING
Division of Engineering Sciences and Technology
Division of Naval Sciences
Department of Chemical EngineeringCOLLEGE OF LAW COLLEGE OF PHARMACY AND PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Department of Industrial Engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering
(Component of the Center for Health Sciences)SCHOOL OF ALLIED HEALTH SCIENCES
Division of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences
Division of Pharmacy Practice
Economic, Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Institute of Public Health
(Component of the Center for Health Sciences)SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
Division of Health Care Management
Division of Health Information Management
Division of Occupational Therapy
Division of Physical Therapy
Division of Cardiopulmonary Science
Division of Undergraduate ProgramsSCHOOL OF GENERAL STUDIES
Division of Graduate Academic Programs
Division of Professional Development
Division of Internships
Division of Academic Programs InterfaceSCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM AND GRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
Division of College Level Academic Skills
Division of Graphic CommunicationSCHOOL OF NURSING ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES INSTITUTE
Division of Journalism
Center for Environmental Equity and JusticeCOLEMAN MEMORIAL LIBRARY
FAMU Center for Environmental Technology Transfer
University and Developmental Research School LibrariesACADEMIC AND RELATED SERVICE FUNCTIONS
Academic Computer Service
Instructional Media Center
Test Service Bureau
Title III Programs
Academic Learning Compacts
FAMU will provide students access to information on Academic Learning Compacts for each baccalaureate degree program. The Academic Learning Compact for each program identifies 1) content knowledge and skills in the discipline, 2) communication skills and 3) critical thinking skills as well as the methods for monitoring the achievement of those skills. Students are expected to demonstrate mastery of these skills prior to graduation. Students may obtain copies of Academic Learning Compacts for each baccalaureate degree program from that program’s departmental office or online at http://www.famu.edu/oldsite/assessment/assess.php?content=compacts.
The following degrees can be earned through appropriate courses of study at Florida A&M University (symbols following each degree listed: B-bachelor’s degree, M-master’s degree, P-professional degree, Ph.D-doctorate of philosophy), and J.D. (juris doctorate). Consult the department for information regarding additional tracks available through these degree programs.
African-American Studies, B
Agricultural Business, B
Agricultural Engineering, B
Agricultural Sciences, B, M
Applied Social Sciences, M
Architecture, B, M
Biological and Agricultural Systems Engineering, B
Biology, B, M
Biomedical Engineering, M, D
Business Administration, B, M
Chemical Engineering, B, M, Ph.D.
Chemistry, B, M
Civil Engineering, B, M, Ph.D.
Community Psychology, M
Computer Engineering, B
Computer Information Systems, B, M
Computer Software Engineering, M
Construction Engineering Technology, B
Counselor Education, M
Criminal Justice, B
Dramatic Arts/Theatre, B
Educational Leadership, M, Ph.D.
Early Childhood Education, B
Electrical Engineering, B, M, Ph.D.
Electronic Engineering Technology, B
Elementary Education, B, M
English Education, B
Entomology, M, Coop. Ph.D. w/UF
Environmental Sciences, B, M, Ph.D.
Graphic Design, B
Health Care Management, M
Health Information Management, B
Health Science, B
Industrial Engineering/Technology, B, M, Ph.D.
Landscape Architecture, M
Mathematics Education, B
Mechanical Engineering, B, M, Ph.D.
Music Education, B
Nursing, B, M
Occupational Therapy, M
Pharmacy, P, M, Ph.D.
Philosophy and Religion, B
Physical Education, B, M
Physical Therapy, M
Physics, B, M, D
Political Science, B
Public Health, M, DrPH
Public Relations, B
Science Education, B
Social Science Teacher Education, B
Social Work, B, M
Studio/Fine Art, B
Technology Education, B, M