Words By: Melissa Poux-Williams6361119207297491051664496592_img_20161004_111316

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University sits on the highest of 7 hills and walking amongst FAMU’s campus are Rattlers full of pride.

Florida A&M celebrated its 129th birthday, Oct 3, 2016.

Convocation kicked off Founder’s Day; students poured in the Lee Hall auditorium, excited for Monday’s convocation.

The ceremony started off by prayer from Joseph V. Jones, Director of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. The entire room in unison said “Amen” and sat down as Bettye Grable, P.h.D gracefully walked up to the podium.

As Dr. Grable gave her speech you can hear the passion in her voice and the see the love for her HBCU in her eyes.

“When you walk across the Tallahassee main campus remember that you are walking across hallowed grounds,”  Grable said as she closed out her speech.

The auditorium burst with applause.

Succeeding, Walter L. Smith, 7th President of FAMU, stepped up to the podium and boasted about his alma mater and reminisced about his earlier years.

“I remember growing up in high school in Polk county, where my teacher told me I would not graduate from high school. She said I would never make it to the next step. But Florida A&M University accepted me and when I stepped on this campus life for me was never the same. I am grateful for Florida A&M University for what it has done to and for me,” he said.

The University Concert Chorale strutted to the stage, each member looking confident and dapper in their matching green blazers. The choir, sang the song “Jordan River”.  The song was uplifting, inspiring and mesmerizing. The melodic tones of everyone’s voices blended beautifully invoking a calmness throughout Lee Hall. The choir ended their song with a hiss and Mi keButler, Musical Director, took a bow; the auditorium erupted in applause and the choir received a standing ovation.

The choir one by one followed one another off stage as the crowd continued its cheers. Interim Provost, Rodner Wright was at a loss for words. Beaming with joy and pride he greeted his fellow Rattlers.

“Makes you want to go ‘wooo!’” said Wright, the crowd agreeing in unison as he introduced the man of the hour, Interim President Larry Robinson.

Dr. Robinson gave a beautifully celebratory speech. He stepped to the podium to not only celebrate his university’s Founder’s Day, but also to address FAMU community.

“It took everybody  working together to get us here today,”  Robinson said as he talks about FAMU’s founding fathers Thomas Tucker and Thomas V. Gibbs.

“Our number 1 priority is for students to succeed in the rigors of the classroom and in the rigors of life.”

Celebrating 129 years of caring and excellence, Thomas DeSaille Tucker and Thomas V. Gibbs would be proud to see what their alma mater has become.

“I represent Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, October 3rd 1887 WHAA-AAT!”

Keep on striking rattlers!


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