FAMU Homecoming Convocation Speaker Tiffany Greene Invokes Rich Family Rattler Legacy

November 03, 2022
Tiffany Greene
FAMU Homecoming Convocation Speaker Tiffany Greene Invokes Rich Family Rattler Legacy

Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumna and ESPN announcer Tiffany Greene invoked her family’s rich Rattler legacy as she addressed a near-capacity, lively, spirited Al Lawson Multipurpose Center for the 2022 Homecoming Convocation.

A former queen of Orange and Green, Greene was introduced by her husband, Aaron Berry, who was king of Orange and Green when she served. Her sister is a Rattler. Her dad and mom, Dayle and Patsy Greene, are also Rattlers, as are cousins, aunt, and uncles. Greene’s two young sons were also in the audience.

“They represent four generations of Rattler pride and its future,” Greene told the appreciative gathering. The family legacy began 114 years ago with her great-grandmother, Mary Edwards, when she graduated from the Florida Normal College for Colored Students, now FAMU. 

“The College of Love and Charity is woven into the fabric of my family, my being. My parents have always treated this weekend like a holiday,” Greene said.  “Our collective HBCU experience is a mental, physical, and spiritual connection.”

Homecoming ConvocationFAMU 2022 Homecoming Convocation in the Lawson Center was lively and spirited as usual. (Photos Credit: Glenn Beil/Office of Communications)

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) like FAMU have become a place of safety for her family and generations of other African Americans.

“One hundred and thirty-five years after FAMU was founded, it’s still a place we can go back to and feel safe, loved, and seen… there is no place like it.  Family is family.   When times are hard– no matter what— we say “FAMUly over Everything.”  In other words, our love for FAMU– and each other– runs so deep— we will do whatever we can to support this institution and each other.”

In closing, Greene dared students to dream.

“I think of my great-grandmother who dared to dream of more, despite the limited options available to a Black woman in the late 1800s, early 1900s.  In the face of great challenges and threats, she, like our ancestors, was willing to go out on a limb, because she knew that’s where the fruit was.  A dear friend said it this way, “When my faith is greater than my fear, then I know I’m ready,” she said with pride. “Students, in time, the seed you plant in your dream will take root, and if you keep watering and nurturing it, you will see that dream come into bloom at its appointed time.”

Greene, a graduate of the FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC), is a barrier-breaking play-by-play commentator for ESPN. She is the first African American woman to serve as a play-by-play commentator for college football on a major network. Following her keynote address, Greene received the President’s Award from President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. 

The more than two-hour ceremony was punctuated by the reading of major donors, including corporations, affinity groups and individuals. Good Morning America (GMA) host TJ Holmes, who hours earlier broadcast segments from Bragg Memorial Stadium, introduced ABC News President and FAMU alum Kim Godwin, who announced that the Disney Company donated $1 million as part of the Disney Future Storytellers Program that will provide scholarships, training and more to journalism students over the next five years. 

Kim GodwinKim Godwin, president of ABC News, announces Disney’s $1 million donation to FAMU during the 2022 Homecoming Convocation in the Lawson Center.

“As part of its commitment to empowering the next generation of storytellers, the company is going to give $200,000 each year for the next five years to increase access to careers and storytelling and innovation from historically underrepresented and marginalized communities,” Godwin said. “Every year, several journalism and graphic communication students will be selected to receive a full scholarship and stipend to cover additional needs related to their studies and schooling.”

Godwin reflected on her humble origins as an out-of-state student.

“This really brings me so much joy, and I want to tell you a little bit about why like many of you, I came to FAMU with very little,” Godwin said. “I rode to FAMU from New York City on a Greyhound bus, so to be able to return as an executive of a company that’s supporting deserving students pursuing their dreams is just overwhelming, and my joy is exponentially greater knowing that Disney is investing in the next generation of diverse journalists.”

The entire ceremony can be viewed here.