Monday, March 10, 2014

Trustees honor Robinson for resilient leadership

Resilient, humble, selfless and dedicated. These were the praises sung by members of the FAMU Board of Trustees as they honored Interim President Larry Robinson at his final Board meeting before turning over the reins of the university to incoming President Elmira Mangum.

Mangum begins her tenure as FAMU’s CEO on April 1.

During the March 6 meeting, the Board presented Robinson with an honorary FAMU Rattlers football helmet, signed by each member, to signify his vast contributions as the “captain” of the FAMU team for the last 19 months.

“Thank you for what you have done, thank you for your leadership and thank you for where FAMU is today,” said Trustee Marjorie Turnbull.

Board members also took time during the meeting to pledge thousands of dollars in donations toward the “Dr. Larry Robinson Endowed Scholarship,” in honor of his leadership in successfully navigating the university through one of the most challenging times in its history.

“You’ve navigated a multitude of challenges, you were always calm under pressure and always exhibited [good] character. You have truly confirmed your place in FAMU’s history as a great leader,” said Trustee Kimberly Moore.

“No amount of money can be enough to express our gratitude,” Trustee Belinda Shannon added.

Shannon applauded Robinson, not only for his work as interim president, but also for the leadership he has shown as an educator and administrator at the university over the years. She pointed to Robinson’s direct impact on her own daughter’s college education, when he directly assisted her and other students in 2008 with housing concerns while staying in the campus dormitories.

“I was able to witness first hand Dr. Robinson’s resilience and his positive style of leadership with results. I was impressed and grateful that he was giving so much of himself for the university,” she said.

Student Government Association President and Trustee Anthony Siders said that Robinson was a great role model and mentor during his term.

“Your leadership, your dignity and your integrity taught me many things,” Siders said. “You’ve provided an immense amount of stability to this university. Thank you on behalf of the student body.”

Robinson expressed his gratitude to the entire board for their continued dedication and for “having the best interest of the university at heart.”

“This has been an honor and a privilege,” said Robinson. “Thank you for this opportunity to serve. It has been the highlight of my career and always will be.”

Board members will join FAMU administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, students and supporters in celebrating Robinson during an appreciation reception to be held at the Hotel Duval Horizon Ballroom on March 18 from 6-8 p.m. Hotel Duval is located at 415 N. Monroe Street.

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