FAMU Bookstore Mural



The Beginning…

The Eternal Flame, located in the heart of campus, is a key landmark, and one of the most recognizable symbols of excellence at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). This  symbolic monument centered amidst the images of Our Founders, Thomas DeSaille Tucker and Thomas Van Renssaller, depicts the strength and vitality of the college of love and charity.

FAMU was founded on October 3, 1887, as the State Normal College for Colored Students. Florida Thomas DeSaille Tucker (1887-1901), an attorney from Pensacola, was chosen to be the first president. Thomas Van Renssaler Gibbs, a former Duval County educator and former State Representative, joined Mr. Tucker as the second faculty member.

Moving Upward…

 As the State Normal College for Colored Students climbed to higher heights, it became Florida’s land grant institution for African Americans, and its name was changed to the State Normal and Industrial College for Colored Students.  After management of the College was transferred from the Board of Education to the Board of Control, the College was officially designated an institution of higher education. As a result, in 1909, the name Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes (FAMC) was given life.


While education is at the forefront of FAMU, the institution also gained prominence in the world of collegiate and professional sports. Notable names of  athletes such as Bob “Bullet” Hayes,  sprinter and professional football player; Althea Gibson, the first African American to win a Grand Slam Tennis title; and Ken Riley, a 2023 inductee into the Professional Football Hall of Fame, all products of the FAMU athletics program. All joined the ranks in the athletic world as alumni of FAMU.  Coach “Jake” Gaither served as the head football coach at FAMU for 25 years (1945-1926). Coach Gaither’s win-loss record is among the best of any college football coach.

Along with the transitions that occurred in other fields of study and the extracurricular world, the College of Law was established and is now located in the beautiful downtown area of Orlando, Florida.


Mural 2


And the Journey Continues…

Known as “the most imitated Band in America,” the Marching “100” was selected to be the "Official United States Representative" at the bicentennial celebration of the French Revolution in Paris, France, in 1989.

The FAMU Connection troupe epitomizes the Rattler spirit that fuels the University consistently ranked as the Top Public HBCU by U.S. News and World Report. Cori Bostic, our first female drum major, stands in the circle of FAMU history makers and barrier breakers.

The mission of the Division of Research is to become a nationally recognized research institution with an efficient infrastructure which will allow STEM majors to continue in their development as excellent critical thinkers, problem solvers, and communicators.

The Royal Court is a standing tradition at FAMU….so we end our mural with an image of the 2020-2021 FAMU Royal Court. This stately image broke the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic when social media was our main means of communication allowing a visual presentation of the Court to the University.

The constant thread throughout the mural is our mascot, the rattlesnake. This is a symbol of the strength and tenacity of the Rattlers to strike, strike and strike again.