A press release by FAMU stated that “this is the largest single-year fundraising total in Florida A&M University’s 128-year history, only exceeding the $5.8 million raised in 2014-2015 after a renewed focus was placed on fundraising under the leadership of President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D.”
$5 million of the $5.8 million in 2014-2015 came from a gift by John W. Thompson, an alumnus of the School of Business and Industry (SBI) and chairman of the Microsoft Corporation Board of Directors. That donation was the result of a negotiating process led by SBI Dean Shawnta Friday-Stroud and her team that followed the fundraising model of founding SBI Dean Sybil C. Mobley. The negotiations took years to complete.
The FAMU press release didn’t include a breakdown of the gifts for the 2015-2016. But SBI continues to be a big source of university fundraising.
On May 26, 2016, Hershey Company Chairman Jim Nevels visited SBI and discussed his company’s decision to donate $1 million to FAMU to establish the Mobley Hershey Endowed Chair. He said Hershey’s great admiration for Mobley’s work led it to make that contribution to FAMU.