|Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes (1909–1953)|
State Normal and Industrial College for Colored Students (1891–1909)
State Normal College for Colored Students (1887–1891)
|Motto||Excellence With Caring|
|Type||Public historically black land-grant university|
|Established||October 3, 1887|
|State University System of Florida|
|Endowment||$95.6 million (2020)|
|Budget||$375 million (2020)|
|Students||10,031 (fall 2018)|
422 acres (1.7 km2)
|Newspaper||The FAMUAN |
|Colors||Orange and Green|
|Athletics||NCAA Division I – MEAC|
|Nickname||Rattlers and Lady Rattlers|
|Mascot||Venom the Rattlesnake|
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) is a public historically black land-grant university in Tallahassee, Florida. Founded in 1887, it is located on the highest geographic hill in Tallahassee. It is the third largest historically black university in the United States by enrollment and the only public historically black university in Florida. It is a member institution of the State University System of Florida, as well as one of the state's land grant universities, and is accredited to award baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The 2021 edition of the U.S. News & World Report college rankings placed the university in Tier 1 among "national universities" (241th), 7th among all HBCUs and 1st among all public HBCUs. It is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity". For 2017, the National Science Foundation ranked Florida A&M University 216th nationally and 2nd among HBCUs for total research and development expenditures.
Black Abolitionist Jonathan C. Gibbs first introduced legislation to create the State Normal College for Colored Students in 1885, one year after being elected to the Florida Legislature. The date also reflects the new Florida Constitution of 1885, which prohibited racial integration in schools. The college was located in Tallahassee because Leon County and adjacent counties led the state in African-American population, reflecting Tallahassee's former status as the center of Florida's slave trade. (See Tallahasse's black history.) The site of the university is the 375-acre slave plantation:94 of Florida governor William Pope Duval, whose mansion, today the site of the Carnegie Library, burned in 1905.
On October 3, 1887, the State Normal College for Colored Students began classes, and became a land-grant college four years later when it received $7,500 under the Second Morrill Act, and its name was changed to State Normal and Industrial College for Colored Students. However, it was not an official institution of higher learning until the 1905 Buckman Act, which transferred control from the Department of Education to the Board of Control, creating what was the foundation for the modern Florida A&M University. This same act is responsible for the creation of the University of Florida and Florida State University from their previous institutions. In 1909, the name of the college was once again changed, to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes, and in 1953 the name was finally changed to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Florida A&M is the only surviving publicly funded historically black college or university in the state of Florida. (Twelve publicly-funded junior colleges serving primarily the African-American population of Florida existed for different periods between 1949 and 1966.)
In 1923, there was a student strike.
In 1951, the university started a pharmacy and nursing program. In order to give these students hands-on experience, the university built a hospital. Until 1971 Florida A&M Hospital was the only one within 150 miles (240 km) of Tallahassee to serve African Americans. It closed in 1971, after then-Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, under federal pressure, started serving African Americans.
On May 26, 1956, Wilhemina Jakes and Carrie Patterson, two Florida A&M University students, were arrested by the Tallahassee Police Department for "placing themselves in a position to incite a riot" which lead to the Tallahassee bus boycott which sought to end racial segregation in the employment and seating arrangements of city buses.
In 1963, FAMU students demonstrated against segregation in the city.
In the fall of 1997, FAMU was selected as the TIME Magazine-Princeton Review "College of the Year" and was cited in 1999 by Black Issues in Higher Education for awarding more baccalaureate degrees to African-Americans than any institutions in the nation.
In 2011 Robert Champion, a band member, was beaten to death in a hazing incident. Two faculty members resigned in connection with a hazing investigation and 13 people were charged with felony or misdemeanor hazing crimes; one student, a band member, was convicted of manslaughter and hazing charges and sentenced to six years in prison. The scandal resulted in the resignation of FAMU's president and played a role in the university's regional accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, placing FAMU on probation for one year.
- Thomas Desaille Tucker 1887–1901
- Nathan B. Young 1901–1923
- William A. Howard 1923–1924
- John Robert Edward Lee 1924–1944
- J.B. Bragg April 5, 1944 – September 1, 1944
- William H. Gray, Jr. 1944–1949
- H. Manning Efferson July 7, 1949 – April 1, 1950
- George W. Gore 1950–1968
- Benjamin L. Perry, Jr. 1968–1977
- Walter L. Smith 1977–1985
- Frederick S. Humphries 1985–2001
- Henry Lewis III January 2002 – June 2002
- Fred Gainous 2002–2004
- Castell V. Bryant January 2005 – May 2007
- James H. Ammons July 2, 2007 – July 16, 2012
- Elmira Mangum April 1, 2014 – September 15, 2016
- Larry Robinson November 30, 2017 – Present, May 2007 - July 2007, July 2012 – April 2014, September 2016 – November 2017
The university offers 54 bachelor's degrees, 29 master's degrees, one professional degree, and 12 doctoral degrees. It has 14 schools and colleges. Florida A&M also has an honors program for high-achieving undergraduate students who meet the high performance criteria. FAMU is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund.
In 2012, FAMU implemented the Medical Scholars Program (MSP) in partnership with the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. MSP is a rigorous pre-medical program designed to uniquely prepare academically talented undergraduate students for success in medical school and beyond. There is a cap of 10 freshmen accepted into this competitive four-year program each year.
FAMU has nine fully funded, endowed, eminent-scholars chairs, including two in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communications, four in the School of Business & Industry, one in the College of Education, one in Arts and Sciences, and one in its School of Pharmacy.
Colleges and Schools
FAMU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through the following colleges and schools:
- College of Agriculture and Food Sciences
- College of Education
- Florida A&M University – Florida State University College of Engineering
- College of Law
- College of Pharmacy and Pharmaucetical Sciences;Institute of Public Health
- College of Social Scienes, Arts, and Humanities
- College of Science and Technology
- School of Allied Health Sciences
- School of Architecture and Engineering Technology
- School of Business and Industry
- School of the Environment
- School of Graduate Studies and Research
- School of Journalism and Graphic Communications
- School of Nursing
|Student Body||Florida||U.S. Census|
Florida A&M University student enrollment population consists primarily of undergraduates. 84.1% of the school's enrolled students are African-American. The next largest demographic group is White (non-Hispanic) students at 7.71%. Native Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans round out the remaining 8.19%.
Florida A&M University has been accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) since 1935.
In 2019, FAMU's four-year-graduation rate was about 22 percent. Its six-year graduation rate was 50 percent.
|U.S. News & World Report||241 |
In 2021, U.S. News & World Reports ranked FAMU #241 in the National Universities category of its Best Colleges rankings. FAMU was also named #61 in best Graduate Teaching and #20 in the Top Performers in Social Mobility category.
FAMU's School of Architecture and Engineering Technology is tied with seven other architecture-related schools in the No. 1 ranking by bachelor's degree production for African Americans by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.
The Princeton Review recently named FAMU among its "2016 Best Colleges: Region-by-Region" list, ranking FAMU as one of the 140 "Best Southeastern" colleges and universities.
FAMU was recognized in 2015 by the Building Green Initiative as the No. 2 "Greenest" public HBCU in the nation. In releasing its rankings, the initiative celebrated FAMU for its sustainability efforts via its agriculture and recycling programs, citing that the University has an "innovative approach to solving modern sustainability issues."
FAMU's annual research funding is $44.5 million. The University has access to research funding from many Federal agencies. FAMU's two largest research areas are agriculture and health sciences. The Pharmacy College's research funding is $20.2 million ($20.2 million in federal, $300k in state support, and from $300k in private industry support) with $29,281,352 committed.
FAMU's main campus is in Tallahassee, Florida, just south of the State Capitol and the campus of Florida State University. It also has a law school campus in Orlando, Florida, and the Research and Development Center in Quincy, Florida. The College of Pharmacy has extension campuses in Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa and Crestview, Florida.
FAMU requires all first-year students to live on campus, if their families are over 35 miles (56 km) from the FAMU campus. Exceptions to this rule include married students, students with dependents, and students who are of age 21 by the start of classes.
FAMU offers a limited number of rooms for students with dependent families. Family households may occupy rooms in the Palmetto North Apartments. Residents are zoned to Leon County Schools. Residents are zoned to Bond Elementary School, Nims Middle School, and Leon High School.
National historic district
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College Historic District
|Area||370 acres (1.5 km2)|
|Architect||William Augustus Edwards; Rudolph Weaver, et al.|
|Architectural style||Colonial Revival, Classical Revival|
|NRHP reference No.||96000530|
|Added to NRHP||May 9, 1996|
The Florida A&M Tallahassee Campus consists of 132 buildings spread across 420 acres (1.7 km2). Part of the campus is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places as the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College Historic District. It received that designation on May 9, 1996. The district is centered along the section of Martin Luther King Boulevard that goes through the campus. According to the National Register, it covers 370 acres (1.5 km2), and contains 14 historic buildings and 1 object. One campus building, the old Carnegie Library, is listed separately on the National Register. On April 18, 2012, the AIA's Florida Chapter placed Lee Hall at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.
Research centers and institutes
The Division of Research houses 17 different research centers and institutes:
- Center for Biological Control
- Center for Disability Access and Resources
- Center for Environmental Equity and Justice
- Environmental Cooperative Sciences Center (ECSC)
- Center for Intelligent Systems, Control, and Robotics (CISCOR)
- Center for International Agricultural Trade, Development Research and Training
- Center for International Law and Justice
- Center for Plasma Science and Technology
- Center for Viticulture Science and Small Fruit Research
- Center for Water and Air Quality
- Center for Secure Computing and Information Assistance
- Meek-Eaton Southeastern Regional Black Archives Research Center and Museum
- Small Business Development Center
- Institute for Building Sciences
- Juvenile Justice Research Institute
- Institute for Research in Music and Entertainment Industry Studies
- Institute of Public Health
The Samuel H. Coleman Memorial Library is the University's main library, named for the man who served as the University's general alumni president for 14 years. After the University's main building containing administrative offices, cafeteria, and library were destroyed by fire, Andrew Carnegie donated a $10,000 gift for the construction of a new library facility. The construction of Coleman Library began during the post-World War II era. The new library was officially dedicated during FAMU's 1949 annual Founders Day celebration in honor of civil leader Samuel H. Coleman. The library was built in 1948, renovated in 1972, expanded in 1990 and again in 2004. The 88,964 square feet (8,265.0 m2) facility includes study rooms, a student study lounge and cafe, graduate and faculty study carrels, teleconference rooms, and a state-of-the-art information literacy classroom.
Along with the additional 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) available in the branch libraries, the Florida A&M University Libraries provide a seating capacity of 920. The Libraries hold nearly 2 million volumes, over 155,000 e-books and e-journals, and 256,126 microforms, which are readily accessible to users and support both onsite and online programs.
The library of what was then the State Normal and Industrial College for Colored Students was located in the grandest building on the campus, Duval Hall, the former mansion of Florida Governor William Pope Duval, which also held the University's administrative offices and cafeteria. It was destroyed by fire in 1905. Andrew Carnegie donated a $10,000 gift for the construction of a new library facility. In 1907, when the city of Tallahassee turned down philanthropist Andrew Carnegie's offer of a library building, because by his rules it would have had to serve black patrons, Carnegie funded instead the Carnegie Library at FAMU. It no longer serves as a library, but instead houses the Southeastern Regional Black Archives Research Center and Museum.
Florida A&M University is a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and participates in NCAA Division I-AA. In June 2020, FAMU announced they will be joining the Southwestern Athletic Conference in summer 2021. FAMU's sports teams are called the "Rattlers." FAMU offers men's sports in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis and track and field. It offers women's sports in basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, softball, tennis, track and field and volleyball.
From 1938 to 1961, the football team won the Black College National Championship eight times, including six times under head coach Jake Gaither, in 1950, 1952, 1954, 1957, 1959 and 1961. When Gaither retired after 25 years of coaching in 1969, his FAMU teams had a 203-36-4 (wins-losses-ties) record, for a .844 winning percentage. Thirty-six players from Gaither's teams were All-Americans, and 42 went on to play in the National Football League. During his 25 years as head coach, FAMU won 22 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships. Gaither was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1975. FAMU went on to win the first NCAA D1-AA National Championship in 1978 after defeating the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The men's basketball team has qualified for the opening round game of the NCAA men's basketball tournament three times (1999, 2004 and 2007). The FAMU Wrestling Team placed third in their region and had several national placers in 2008 under Coach Sharif.
FAMU is the fifth largest HBCU in the nation with a student body of nearly 10,000 students hailing from all regions of the United States and several foreign countries. Individuals part of the FAMU community are affectionately referred to as "FAMUly" or members of "Rattler Nation". FAMU has over 100 student organizations on campus.
Notable student organizations
Student Government Association
The Student Government Association (SGA) is the official voice of the student body and is divided into three branches: Executive, Judicial, and Legislative.
FAMU Royal Court
Miss FAMU, Mister FAMU, and other students represent the university in its royal court. Miss FAMU, Mister FAMU, and female students known as "attendants", are elected by the student body; there is a Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Graduate attendant and Queen of Orange and Green. The male "escorts" of the attendants are appointed by Mister FAMU through an application process. The only male escort that wears a crown besides Mister FAMU is the King of Orange and Green. The attendants and escorts are undergraduate students, except for one attendant and one escort who are graduate students.
The FAMU Gospel Choir was established in 1957.
Reserve Officers Training Corps
FAMU is home to both Army ROTC and Naval ROTC units, permitting students to pursue careers as commissioned officers in the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps, upon graduation. For those FAMU students desiring to become commissioned officers in the U.S. Air Force, a cross-campus arrangement permits their taking Air Force ROTC training with the AFROTC detachment at nearby Florida State University (FSU). Likewise, Florida State students desiring to become Navy and Marine Corps officers may also enroll with FAMU's NROTC unit under a similar arrangement.
The FAMU marching band, The Marching 100, received national recognition in January 1993 when it performed in the 42nd Presidential Inauguration Parade by invitation of Bill Clinton. The band has also performed in the Super Bowl and in the 44th Presidential Inauguration Parade for Barack Obama. In 2019, the marching band performed in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California on New Year's Day.
- The FAMUAN – The student newspaper
- Journey Magazine – The student magazine
- FAMU 20 TV – The FAMU TV news broadcast network
- WANM 90.5 FM – The university owned and operated radio station.
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- "FAMU Board of Trustees Approves Almost $375 Million Budget". Florida Daily. 17 August 2020. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
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- "Death of Florida A&M's Robert Champion ruled a homicide". BBC News. December 17, 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "Convictions upheld in hazing death of FAMU drum major". Miami Herald. November 18, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
- Gary Finout (December 11, 2012). "Scandals threaten FAMU's accreditation". Associated Press. Archived from the original on December 19, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
- Lederman, Doug (December 12, 2012). "Headline-Driven Accreditation". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
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- "Florida A & M University 2017-2018 Fact Book" (PDF). Famu.edu. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- "Funding Opportunities". FAMU Dision of Research. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
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- "Overview". Archived from the original on 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
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