Showing posts with label Alumni. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alumni. Show all posts

Sunday, September 03, 2017

FAMU grad Rob Hardy directs season finale of POWER

FAMU grad Rob Hardy will direct the season finale of the Starz series Power, the #1 rated premium cable show among African-Americans.  Hardy, who along with Will Packer (another FAMU grad) founded Rainforest Films in 1994.  Hardy is also co-founder of  Bounce TV.  Most recently he has ventured into television production and has produced episodes of Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, Criminal Minds, 90210, The Game and The Quad. 

POWER's season finale "You Can't Fix This" airs tonight at 9 p.m. on STARZ.  

Sunday, July 03, 2016

FAMU Foundation receives $266,000 from Washington, D.C. alumni for scholarships

The Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) Foundation has received a gift of $266,000 from the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the University’s National Alumni Association (NAA). The gift is the largest donation ever received from a single alumni chapter. The funds will be used to establish the Washington, D.C. Chapter Annie B. Pharr Endowed Scholarship at the University. The donation is a result of an estate gift that was bequeathed to the chapter by the late Annie B. Pharr.

“We chose to establish the endowment at the FAMU Foundation so that Annie B. Pharr’s legacy could live forever while also helping the University fill in the funding gap for students,” said Chapter President Artie L. Polk, D.Min. “After meeting with President [Elmira Mangum] while she was visiting Washington, D.C. recently, the chapter decided to provide long-term resources that would help the University meet state metrics and assist in retaining and graduating students.”

Thursday, April 02, 2015

FAMU NAA announces largest class of distinguished alumni honorees

The FAMU National Alumni Association (FAMU NAA) announced that the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented to 24 outstanding individuals, the largest class of honorees to date, during its 25th anniversary celebration.

The awards, which highlight the professional and personal achievements of FAMU alumni, will be presented during the 2015 National Alumni Convention, on Friday, May 16, 2015 at 7 p.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton Greenway Plaza in Houston, Texas.
"We are excited to present the Distinguished Alumni Awards in Houston as this will be the first time that this event is held away from FAMU's campus since its creation in 1990," said Awards Chair Doris Hicks. "With more than 70,000 graduates hailing from FAMU and several deserving candidates nominated for recognition, it made sense to increase the number of honorees that will be celebrated during this 25th Anniversary Black Tie affair."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mangum, Rattler alumni march in Jacksonville’s MLK Day Parade

FAMU President Elmira Mangum joined the university’s J.R.E. Lee Alumni Chapter in Jacksonville on Monday for the city’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade.

An estimated 35,000 people turned out to either watch the festivities or participate as marchers.

Congresswoman Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, a FAMU alumna, served as the grand marshal. She said the event presented an opportunity to remember King’s fight for voting rights.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

FAMU 10 for $10 Challenge tops $50k in a week

Taking a cue from the popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, FAMU Alum Cecka Rose Green  was inspired by what she saw to create an opportunity to challenge Rattlers to give to FAMU.  

Green, came up with the idea to donate $10, the cost of one lunch, to FAMU and challenge 10 others to do the same.  On August 25, she posted her challenge on Facebook and "called out" 10 of her family and friends.  

Within hours, her FAMU 10 for $10 Giving Challenge challenge was going viral on Facebook and twitter.   As with most challenges of this type challengers, and those challenged, must provide proof that they have donated.

To date, more than $51,000 has been donated by over 1,700 individual donors.  Green's goal is to top the $500,000 mark by the end of the year from over 5,000 donors.  You can earmark your donation to whatever area at FAMU that interest you most -- athletics, College of Education, scholarships, or "area of greatest need."  The important thing is that you give.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Frankie Rolle Rattler Basketball great dead at 89

Frankie Shannon Rolle 
Frankie Shannon Rolle who captained FAMU’s undefeated 1943 women's  basketball team and became only the fourth woman inducted into FAMU’s sports Hall of Fame in 1979 has died. She was 89 years old.

Rolle was a 1946 physical education graduate of Florida A&M, and earned her master’s in guidance counseling and school administration at Indiana University, at a time when southern universities would not admit blacks into grad school.

According to a Miami Herald article, Rolle is credited with transforming Miami's Coconut Grove community into a real-life CheersThe old TV sitcom’s theme song touted the fictional bar’s reputation for drawing people together, “where everybody knows your name.”

Rolle and her late husband, jazz musician Billy Rolle, also are responsible for bringing to life the Grove's famed Goombay Festival, along with a group of merchants from Grand Avenue and the Bahamas Tourist Office in the mid-1970s, the article said.

Read more here:

“She was like the matriarch of this community,” said Barbara Jordan, who served with Rolle on the board of the Helen B. Bentley Community Health Center in Coconut Grove.
“Whatever there was that needed to be done, Frankie would step in and do her share. She was like a mother to many people,” Jordan said. “You would be surprised at the number of people she helped with getting an education.”

Read more here:

Read more here:

Read more here:

Monday, July 15, 2013

NAA contributes nearly $100,000 in unrestricted funds to FAMU Foundation

The FAMU National Alumni Association (NAA) donated a total of $98,000 in unrestricted funds to the FAMU Foundation during its 2013 annual convention. The NAA met in Fort Lauderdale from May 16 to 19.

NAA President Tommy Mitchell has made raising unrestricted funds a key priority of his tenure. Most donations that universities receive are restricted funds that are designated for a specific school or scholarship program. But unrestricted funds permit universities wide flexibility to invest in critical areas such as research.

For example, FAMU is continuing the process of searching for top-rate researchers to fill a number of its vacant endowed chairs. The university can use unrestricted funds to provide endowed chair professors with research support packages that include: laboratory equipment, travel funds, graduate research assistants, and postdoctoral aides.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Class of 1962 donates $62,250 to FAMU

Giving back to their alma mater was more than a thought for members of the FAMU Class of 1962. For this class of dedicated Rattlers, reaching back and building bridges for success was their goal.

Members of the class recently presented a check of $62,250 to the university toward the establishment of scholarships for students. The alumni group agreed to support the effort after meeting for their 50th anniversary during spring commencement weekend at FAMU.

Booker Daniels, a FAMU retiree and former student vice president of the class, said the initial goal was to have fun during their anniversary weekend and present the university with a nice gift.     

“It was wonderful seeing people, many of whom had not seen each other for 50 years,” said Daniels.  “Once we made our decision, everyone wanted to ensure the money was going to help the students.          

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Metro Atlanta FAMU NAA hosts Lady Rattlers for Thanksgiving Dinner

While the Lady Rattler Basketball Team found themselves spending the Thanksgiving Holiday in Atlanta playing in a basketball tournament at Georgia State University, they were not without family.  

James "Skip" McLemore, Petrina Baxter and the Metro Atlanta Chapter of the FAMU NAA reached out to the Lady Rattlers and hosted the entire team for Thanksgiving Dinner.  This proves, once again, no matter where you go the Rattler Family is always with you.   

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Young Alumni Giving luncheon raising funds for two scholarships

The Young Alumni Giving luncheon is back for FAMU Homecoming 2011. This year’s theme is: “Giving Back to the Future.”

Scheduled for Friday, October 7, at 12:45 p.m., the event will take place at the Governor’s Club on 202 1/2 South Adams Street. The upscale dining establishment sits one block from the Florida Capitol and features a New Orleans-style décor.

The YAG luncheon has also become a major networking opportunity with high-powered alumni such as Attorney Daryl Parks, State Rep. Alan Williams, City Commissioner Andrew Gillum, and filmmaker Will Packer, and media mogul Oscar Joyner having made appearances in recent years.

The host for this year’s event will be Student Body President Breyon Love. The speaker line-up features Marvin Green, the new director of FAMU’s Office of Student Activities, Tiffany Greene (pictured), a Bright House Sports Network reporter, Derric Heck, owner of I.Design, LLC, and Arian Reed, publisher of FEARLESS Magazine.

Tickets cost $50 and are available at the FAMU Foundation’s website.

Proceeds from the event provide financing for two FAMU scholarships. The first is a summer tuition scholarship (6 credit hours) for a current FAMU freshman who demonstrates financial need. The second is an exam prep course (LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, or GRE) scholarship for a graduating FAMU senior.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pensacola Chapter Awards Six $1,000 Scholarships

Stay focused in school and get as much education as possible.

That is the advice Florida A&M University President James Ammons gave to the six Pensacola students who received $1,000 scholarships from the Pensacola alumni chapter during a scholarship banquet there last night.

"When you come to Florida A&M, one of the first things we'll talk with you about is getting advanced degrees because the competition out there is so tough," Ammons told the students. "It's tougher now than most of us have seen in our lifetime. You have to distinguish yourselves."

About 200 people attended the fourth annual scholarship banquet.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

FAMU to host Weekend of Rededication

FAMU will host its Weekend of Rededication (WORD) and spring Alumni Meeting April 28 through 30.

“It is always so heartwarming to see alums from days gone by return to the ‘Hill,’” said Executive Director for the Office of Alumni Affairs Carmen Cummings-Martin. “They are really interested in seeing the great strides over the years here on campus. I believe Weekend of Rededication is a gem of a chance for them to reconnect with classmates from the good ole days and to give back via their talents and treasure to help sustain our beloved alma mater.”

The celebration will honor the university’s Golden Anniversary Class of 1961 and Legends in the classes of 1951, 1956 and 1966 for WORD. Several activities have been planned including the Gaslight Renaissance: A Tribute to the Arts featuring moments from the stage classic: “Ain’t Misbehavin,” and a talent show featuring alums from the 1950s and 1960s at Charles Winter Wood Theatre.

Monday, September 13, 2010

FAMU announces 40/40 honorees

Last week, FAMU announced the young men and women who will be honored at the Young Alumni Awards: A 40/40 Celebration, Friday, October 29, in the Alfred L. Lawson, Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium. The gala is part of this year’s Homecoming celebration and celebrates the accomplishments of alumni who are under 40 years of age.

The 40 honorees include actors, business executives, filmmakers, politicians, and educators.

The names include: Joe Briggs, attorney for the NFL Players Association; Dwight Bullard, Florida House of Representatives (District 118); Dr. Makeba S. Earst, Dentist, All About Smiles Center; Andrew D. Gillum, Tallahassee City Commissioner; Amber D. Hall, Florida Region Sales Operations HR Manager, Frito Lay; Rob Hardy and Will Packer, Rainforest Films; Oscar Joyner, President and COO, Reach Media; Melanie Roussell, Press Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Alan Williams, Florida House of Representatives (District 8); Lonnie Rashied Lynn, Jr. – “Common,” actor and rapper; Anika Noni Rose, actress.

One big highlight of the list is Michael Bundy (pictured). Bundy, an alumnus of FAMU's School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, graduated first in his class at the Harvard University School of Dental Medicine in 2008. He's currently completing a six-year residency at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center, specializing in oral and maxillo facial surgery.

Bundy and Makeba S. Earst are both examples of FAMU's ability to attract students with the potential to become top-rate dental surgeons. FAMU President James Ammons is vigorously lobbying for a College of Dental Medicine to be established at Florida's only public historically black university.

View the full list of honorees here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

ESPN exec slapped with lawsuit by unofficial FAMU alumni group

The NY Daily News reports, that a renegade faction of Florida A&M University's alumni association claims in a lawsuit it was hoodwinked by ESPN senior vice president Keith Clinkscales. The suit alleges that Clinkscales promised to use his corporate connections to help launch the Hip-Hop Grub Spot.

So the alumni group's investment committee lined up big-names to back the project - from NFL stars to music celebrities - only to have Clinkscales yank support last year, the suit charges.

The committee "continues to suffer irreparable economic losses," the suit claimed without specifying a dollar figure.

It also claimed its "reputation and credibility" were hurt.

The lawsuit itself, however, highlights a division within the alumni organization.

"The group that filed this lawsuit does not speak for or represent FAMU's alumni organization.

They, in fact, are no longer part of the association and have no right to file a lawsuit on its behalf," said Reginald Mitchell general council for the alumni organization.

A Jan. 26 letter from the association's new president said the alumni association would not support any civil lawsuit.

Clinkscales is a 1986 magna cum laude graduate of the school, a co-founder of Vibe magazine and an adviser to Pepsi.

Update FAMU professor listed as contact for Hip Hop Grub Spot
(click photo to enlarge)
The website for the Hip-Hop Grub Spot includes the name, campus phone and campus email address of FAMU Hip-Hop Institute Director Kawachi Clemons. Clemons was listed as a contact for franchising, brand, and licensing inquiries for the company.

Check out the Hip-Hop Grub Spot's Myspace page

Sunday, February 07, 2010

FAMU mourns loss of alumni president Alvin Bryant

Alvin Bryant, president of the FAMU National Alumni Association (NAA), died Friday afternoon after a lengthy illness.

Bryant, a 1959 graduate of FAMU, was a board certified surgeon who lived and practiced in Hampton, Virginia. He was also a retired Major General of the United States Army. A life member of the FAMU NAA, he was founding president of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the FAMU NAA and a member of the powerful Northeast Region of the FAMU NAA since 1967.

FAMU President James Ammons said, "in my eight years as a college president, I have not worked with a more dedicated and supportive national (alumni) president.

"He (Dr. Bryant) served as president during one of the most turbulent periods in FAMU’s history and will be remembered for mobilizing alumni to help restore FAMU’s legacy and reputation. He loved his alma mater."

"He showed tremendous support by sending hundreds of students from the Hampton area here. Our hearts and prayers go out to members of his family. The FAMU community will miss him. This is a great loss for the university” Ammons added.

Bryant's mantra as alumni president was “Money, Management, Membership, Political Savvy and effective Governmental/Public Relations”. As president, worked behind the scenes with the Florida political power brokers on behalf of FAMU.

In a statement, State Senator Al Lawson said “Bryant was a friend to many, a mentor, and an icon. He was a renaissance man, eloquent, fearless, and peerless in his pursuit of fairness and equality. He exhorted all of us to strive for excellence, stand fast for justice and yield to no one in the pursuit of a quality education or the most sacred principles of democracy."

"Nothing was too hard for him (Bryant) to accept as a challenge, and nothing was too hard for him to overcome. We lost him, but not his words or his message of hope and courage." Lawson said.

"I know of no one who loved his alma mater more or gave as much to Florida A&M University as Alvin Bryant,” Lawson said.

Some of the major initiatives undertaken by the FAMU NAA under Bryant were the ongoing One Million Dollar (scholarship) Campaign, FAMU Church Day, and the Band Instrument Drive. During his tenure the alumni raised over $750,000 for FAMU.

Funeral Arrangements
A wake for Dr. Bryant will be held on Friday, February 12,2010, at the Second Baptist Church East End, 3307 Chestnut Avenue, Newport News, VA. It will begin at 6:00 p.m. A military funeral services will be held, the following day in Hampton.

Full details on the funeral were not yet available.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Alumni donations rebound under Ammons

When FAMU alumni saw former Interim President Castell Bryant creating multimillion dollar deficits and getting the worst state audits in the university’s history, many closed their checkbooks. But once new President James Ammons entered office and started fixing Castell’s mess, alumni donations quickly rebounded.

During Castell’s first full year in 2005-2006, alumni gave $720,985. That fell by -28 percent to $521,821 during 2006-2007 after Castell and her financial officers had landed FAMU's first-ever qualified state audits.

Ammons’ entry in 2007-2008 immediately reversed the decline in alumni giving levels. During his first six months in office, Ammons and his financial team got FAMU’s books back in shape and received an unqualified state audit. The new administration also got the university off probation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Alumni responded by increasing their donations by 86 percent, for a total of $968,820 that year.

Alumni giving continued to go up in 2008-2009. That year, FAMU went from having the largest number of operational audit findings in the State University System under Castell to one of the very smallest numbers under Ammons. Alumni contributions climbed by another 22 percent to $1,180,723.

FAMU’s new leadership has also reinvigorated the Boosters. In 2006-2007, Boosters giving slid by -3 percent, going from $167,100 to $162,420. During Ammons’ first year, Boosters contributions jumped up by 67 percent to $270,820. In 2008-2009, that number rose again by 6 percent for a total of $285,816.

Alumni want to know that their financial gifts are being properly managed. It’s clear that the Ammons administration has restored alumni confidence in the university’s accounting systems. The increase in alumni giving, despite the current recession, is another selling point FAMU can use to attract bigger sums of money from corporate America and the State of Florida.

Source: FAMU Strategic Plan Accountability Indicators.

Friday, November 06, 2009

YAG raises $10,000 for FAMU Foundation

Homecoming 2009’s Young Alumni Giving luncheon raised a total of $10,000 for the FAMU Foundation.

During the event Reach Media CEO Oscar Joyner, a member of the FAMU Foundation’s Board of Directors, talked about his efforts to help the university make its donation processes more convenient and technologically sophisticated.

He emphasized that old-time methods like “snail mail” don’t engage FAMU’s young alumni. Ever since he joined the foundation board, Joyner has encouraged the university to explore fundraising options that utilize the latest communication devices – including online communication networks and cell phones.

Joyner said that FAMU’s administration is getting the message, as shown by the recent Mobile Giving Campaign. He then asked everyone in the audience to take out their phones on the spot and immediately make a $5.00 (or more) donation to the foundation.

The YAG luncheon also received sponsorship from Ajax Building Corporation, the company that built the first phase of FAMU’s Recreation Center and currently holds the contract for remodeling Tucker Hall.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

FAMU seeking more support from recent grads

For years, historically black college and university administrators have struggled with a tough question: What's the best way to raise alumni giving levels?

Jamahl Grace, a FAMU alumnus, said he believes the amount each grad gives depends on his or her experience.

“I feel [many people] don’t give back because they didn’t thoroughly value the experience they gained and the foundation that was built,” Grace said. “They are busy focusing on all the things that have gone wrong that they forget about the positive aspects and won’t take the initiative to better [the] institution.” Grace said he plans to give back to his alma mater. He has started by taking an active role within the local alumni chapter in Washington, D.C.

While Grace believes many students don’t value the experience gained, entertainer Bill Cosby blames HBCU leadership. In 2008 at the “Straight Talk Symposium – Securing the Financial Future of North Carolina HBCUs and Their Communities,” Cosby said HBCU officials should make alumni “feel bad” about not giving back instead of “begging” them.

Marybeth Gasman, a University of Pennsylvania professor who studies HBCUs, disagrees. In a 2008 “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education” issue, Gasman said HBCU administrators have to educate students early and often in their college career the importance of giving back. Gasman said HBCUs need to organize student advancement councils focused on raising money. She said HBCUs have to educate students to understand how a university works, the finances that keep an institution working, and their role in sustaining their alma mater.

HBCUs are not the only institutions that have difficulty getting monetary donations from their young alumni. A blog by Sean Stannard-Stockton, an investment consultant who advises philanthropic groups, recently featured commentary from PrepNY co-founder Sam Huleatt on this issue. Huleatt says that many universities fail to take advantage of modern communication mediums that appeal to recent graduates or tapping into the power of university networks.

“Schools need to find a new medium by which to appeal to their young alumni,” Huleatt wrote. “They must also provide them with the incentives to ‘give’ in a number of different contexts. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this at low cost is by leveraging the social network that already exists among an active alumni base using technology.”

At FAMU, initiatives such as the new Mobile Giving Campaign are attempting to do just that by making it possible for alumni to donate through their cell phones. Activities such as the annual Young Alumni Giving luncheon are also encouraging recent grads to make regular donations to the university’s foundation using the secure online website.

The YAG has also become a major networking opportunity with high-powered alumni such as BOT vice-chairman Daryl Parks, State Rep. Alan Williams, City Commissioner Andrew Gillum, and filmmaker Will Packer having made appearances in recent years. Media mogul Oscar Joyner will headline this year’s event.

President James Ammons, who delivered the YAG luncheon’s keynote address during his first year as the university’s leader, emphasized the need for alumni to step up their support during these tough economic times.

Details on the Mobile Giving Campaign are available here. Tickets for this year’s luncheon can be purchased here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

FAMU launches mobile giving campaign

Giving to FAMU’s athletic program is now as easy as texting “50555.”

This weekend, Vice-President for University Relations Carla Willis emailed alumni with the news that FAMU is collaborating with the Mobile Giving Foundation to launch an innovative fundraising campaign.

Throughout 2009’s Homecoming Week (Oct 18th - 25th), University Relations is encouraging Rattlers to donate $5.00 to FAMU sports by texting the word "FAMU" to 50555 anytime during those days.

Willis says FAMU is one of just a few universities, and as of right now, the only HBCU, leading the nation in this type of giving strategy.

“Many of us learned from Obama’s campaign that the cellular telephone can be a great way to call people into action and a way of securing small donations that can make a huge impact,” Willis wrote. “This area of technology is another arena in which FAMU is poised and ready to become a leader.”

Mobile Giving is supported by the following carriers: AT&T, Nextel, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless.

For more information, check out the Mobile Giving page at the FAMU Foundation’s website.