Thursday, November 17, 2016

FAMU pursues Florida, Georgia National Merit Scholars with unique outreach event

Rising to Gov. Rick Scott’s challenge for every state university to become a National Merit sponsor, Florida A&M University (FAMU) leaders are meeting one-on-one with National Merit semifinalists this month to recruit the best and brightest students across Florida and Georgia.

Yesterday, FAMU Trustee Harold Mills hosted a reception for semifinalists from the Orlando area at his home in Windermere, Florida. Trustee Thomas Dortch Jr. will host an event for semifinalists in the Atlanta area at his Buckhead home on Nov. 29 at 6 p.m.

FAMU Board of Trustees members are working closely with Interim President Larry Robinson, senior staff, deans, and the Division of Student Affairs to ensure that FAMU meets and exceeds the state goal for each university to become a National Merit college sponsor.

Mills said, “It’s critical to match our great university with great students, and it’s an honor to be a part of that process.”

On Monday, Trustee David Lawrence held the first reception for semifinalists in Coral Gables, Florida.

“It is a privilege to be a host and even a recruiter for prospective FAMU students – great people, already successful in high school, and destined to contribute to a better world,” Lawrence said.

Robinson expressed the importance of the events as FAMU continues its focus on recruitment, retention, and persistence to graduation.

“I am grateful to our trustees who are opening their homes to host National Merit semifinalists who will add to FAMU’s history of producing some of the world’s most forward-thinking and socially-aware scholars,” said Robinson. “FAMU has a rich legacy of attracting some of the nation’s brightest minds, and offering those students world-class academic programs, internships, and research opportunities.”

In keeping with the best practices for many of the nation’s prestigious scholarship programs, the deadline to apply is November 30.

The trustees’ events are opening the door for participation in the state’s Benacquisto Scholarship Program. The program is designed to bridge the funding gap for National Merit Scholars and keep high-achieving students in Florida. Combined, the program and scholarship will provide merit scholars who come to FAMU with the total amount of costs to attend the university full-time each term, and may include but is not limited to tuition and fees, on-campus housing, books, supplies, travel, and miscellaneous expenses.

PHOTO: National Merit semifinalists Adriana Arcia, Katherine DeJesus (left), and Armani Arellano (far right) enjoy a reception hosted by FAMU Trustee David Lawrence. Pictured with the potential Rattlers are Yvette Tamargo of Doral Academy Preparatory High School and Latricia Bazile (center).

Interested students may RSVP with Dedra O’Neal, director of university scholarship programs, at (850) 412-5483 or

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