Friday, September 19, 2014

Will Packer’s “No Good Deed” opens at #1 with $24.5M

FAMU alumnus Will Packer has yet another number one hit at the box office. “No Good Deed,” a Will Packer Productions film, took the top spot during its opening weekend with an estimated $24.5 million in ticket sales.

The thriller, which stars Iris Elba and Taraji P. Henson, knocked Walt Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” out of first place.

“No Good Deed” is another big financial success for Packer. According to the New York Times, the movie “cost less than $14 million to make.” That means it has already covered its full production costs and claimed a big profit.

Back during the summer another Will Packer Productions film, “Think Like a Man Too,” also took the number one weekend spot with $30 million.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fabulous Coach Lines had $5M insurance limit

Back during a 2012 interview with CNN Reporter George Howell, Fabulous Coach Lines President Ray Land defended his business’ actions on the day that FAMU drum major Robert Champion lost his life aboard a vehicle owned by the company. Champion died from injuries he suffered during a 2011 hazing ritual that took place on a Fabulous Coach Lines bus in Orlando, Florida. The Champion family later filed a civil law suit against the company.

“To own and operate a fleet of buses like this, Fabulous Coach Lines maintains a high insurance limit,” Howell reported. “And Ray Land believes that is the reason his business is being targeted. He believes the lawsuit is misguided.”

It now looks like the Champions might have been successful in getting a piece of that “high insurance limit.” Last week, the Orlando Sentinel reported that the Champions had reached a settlement with the bus company. The Champions have declined to release details about the agreement.

According to the records of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Fabulous Coach Lines had a $5 million insurance limit from June 30, 2011 through January 27, 2012. Champion died on November 19, 2011.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

From our FAMU Store to your door in only 3 days

Show your Rattler Pride by shopping our online FAMU Store featuring over 500 officially licensed products like these stadium seat cushions.  All items ship out in 24 hours and are delivered to your door within three days.  Free shipping on purchases over $50.  

Mangum skeptical of claims that hazing news led to FAMU’s enrollment decline

At her recent meeting with the Orlando Sentinel editorial board, FAMU President Elmira Mangum expressed skepticism in response to a suggestion that a 2011 hazing death led to the university’s enrollment decline. She said that the federal financial aid crisis and economic downturn are the biggest reasons that FAMU has fewer students.

The following comes from her interview with the editorial board:

Q: Has the university recovered after the hazing scandal, as it relates to rebounding enrollment numbers?

A: I believe that we have recovered from that, if that is the reason students chose not to come to FAMU, and I'm not really convinced that's the reason why enrollment declined...Much of it had to deal with the availability of financial aid, the economic downturn and people not being able to afford an education....I think many institutions would be challenged if that [hazing] were the reason why students chose not to come, because hazing is a problem in America — and it's a problem on most campuses. The fact that FAMU was highlighted was grave and disappointing, but it's a part of our culture at every college and institution. We do our best to make sure we have a safe environment for our students, and FAMU has done an awful lot, probably more than most colleges.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mangum spars with Orlando Sentinel editorial board over FAMU’s access and opportunity scholars

FAMU President Elmira Mangum held her own like a boxing champ in a recent meeting with the Orlando Sentinel editorial board.

The following excerpt from Mangum’s interview comes from an Orlando Sentinel story that ran today (September 16, 2014). Rattler Nation has inserted some of the comments that the Orlando Sentinel edited out in bold. The full interview is available on the Orlando Sentinel’s YouTube channel.

Q: In 2012, the Sentinel found thousands of students enter FAMU despite being ill-equipped for college rigor. How are you addressing this?

A: [As] part of the response to the declining enrollment and the economic changes, the university admitted additional students who did not meet the initial criteria that we had established for admission as an opportunity; we call them access and opportunity scholars. I know in Florida, some people call them profile admits. That’s not friendly to me. So I like to call them access and opportunity [scholars]. What we are doing is taking a bet on students who may or may not meet certain criteria with regard to admission and taking a bet that they will succeed. What we’re doing different now is providing the support for those students in our learning environment by creating additional counseling sessions and having the assessment tools available to determine if they would be successful in certain courses. So we are basically increasing our learning support and retention activities through advising, “intrusive advising” as we say, where if faculty members find a student in their class who’s not quite prepared for a course they refer them to the advising center or the counseling or study center to get the support they need.

Monday, September 15, 2014

FAMU enrolls 10,231 students for Fall 2014

FAMU’s fall enrollment slid again for the fourth consecutive year. But the decline is not as bad as university officials originally feared.

Last week, FAMU Vice-President for Student Affairs William Hudson informed the Board of Trustees’ Student Affairs Committee that the university has enrolled 10,231 students for Fall 2014. That is 503 fewer students than the 10,734 FAMU enrolled in Fall 2013.

Back in August, FAMU released a projection that had enrollment at only 9,500.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

FAMU golf team back after Green succeeds in raising $30,000

The FAMU golf team is back for the 2014-2015 school thanks to the success of a $30,000 fundraising drive led by its coach, Marvin Green.

Green, who also serves as FAMU’s director of student activities, jumped to action after budget cuts led the FAMU Department of Athletics to suspend the golf program in June. He said he wanted to keep the team alive for the benefit of the student-athletes.

“This is what most of these guys have been doing since they were 8, 9 years old; playing golf,” Green said in a quote published by the Tallahassee Democrat. “They've worked hard to get offered a scholarship. They chose FAMU, obviously because of that ability to compete and get a good education.”