Sunday, March 27, 2016

Historic photos from late Jim Davis, retired FAMU lobbyist, on display in Black Archives

On Feb. 23, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) retiree James “Jim” Davis donated three historical framed photos from his personal archive to the Meek-Eaton Black Archives Research Center and Museum where they will be displayed and cared for on “The Hill” for years to come.

Davis, a longtime FAMU lobbyist and former executive assistant to former FAMU President Frederick S. Humphries, recently lost his battle with cancer. Before passing away on March 17, Davis showed his continued support of the University through his generous contribution.

Nashid Madyun, director of the Black Archives, said he was very grateful for Davis’ donation because it is reflective of his rich legacy at FAMU and in the world.

“When he came to donate the pictures he was full of life and energy and wit and substance,” Madyun said of his moments with Davis. “Jim Davis was important to the growth and prominence of Florida A&M and it is reflected in the images he shared.”

Madyun said he encourages other FAMU graduates, professors, and retirees to donate to the Black Archives because the curators at the museum are dedicated to preserving the research and historical contributions of FAMU and African-American people in general.

“The Black Archives collects and maintains a treasure that reflects the contributions of faculty, administrators and staff,” Madyun said. “We are seeking alums’ and professors’ research and papers so that students can have access to it. We are always encouraging them to contact us first to determine the significance and then we decide if we can house it at the Black Archives.”

Davis’ generous donation included photos featuring the late pianist, singer, and songwriter Ray Charles, that also prominently showcased distinguished FAMU alumna former Congresswoman Carrie Meek—of whom the Black Archives was named.

Carmen Cummings, executive director of the Office of Alumni Affairs, said she was thrilled when she learned that Davis was interested in donating more of his own cherished memorabilia to the University. Cummings explained that Davis was a regular contributor to the archives, and this donation was just another example of his love and dedication to enhancing FAMU.

“Mr. Davis had a long and impressive history of giving the utmost to support and sustain FAMU,” Cummings explained. “His passion and commitment toward raising awareness about the relevance of HBCU’s like FAMU was unwavering.”

She added, “FAMU’s embrace of Mr. Davis’ cherished artifacts ensures that the legacy of our esteemed alum will indeed live on.”

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