SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
HOUSTON – The Florida A&M University National Alumni Association (FAMUNAA) set a new participation record as more than 450 alumni participated in convention activities in Houston last month to raise dollars for scholars during the 2015 National Convention. A total of $203,000 was raised on site, with additional donations flooding in virtually through the portal, www.FAMU.edu/RattlersGive.
“In just a few moments, together we have doubled the amount of money raised at this event last year,” said FAMUNAA President Tommy Mitchell. “This is how much Rattlers love and support FAMU. We give to ensure a bright future for our alma mater so that the legacy will continue to be there for Rattlers yet unborn.”
Alumna Cheryl A. Miller, Allstate Senior Vice President of Sourcing and Procurement Services, set the tone through her stirring keynote speech where she encouraged the alumni to support the new administration because innovative change is critical to FAMU’s future.
‘FAMU must evolve’
Miller reminded the audience that history tells the story of several corporations that are no longer present because they refused to change such as Blockbuster, Kodak Camera, and Borders Bookstore.
Similarly, academia has witnessed the demise of several institutions of higher learning. Miller stressed the importance of coming together to protect FAMU’s longevity.
“Industries evolve to meet future demands and FAMU is no different,” said Miller. “FAMU must evolve to meet the needs of today’s students or lose relevancy.” She invited the alumni to be a part of the change by financially supporting the new president’s vision.
FAMU President Dr. Elmira Mangum delivered a video message thanking the alumni for their continuous support and Provost Marcella David shared an impressive list of recent campus accolades.
The Social Mobility Index ranked FAMU No. 3 in the nation for facilitating economic opportunity for underserved students. The university outranked the nation’s leading Ivy League institutions on the list such as Princeton (360th), Harvard (438th), and Yale (440th).
Additionally, FAMU recently awarded two doctoral degrees in physics to two accomplished African-American women. The national average number of African-Americans awarded the Ph.D. in physics annually is six.
“There is a lot for you to be proud of as alumni,” said David.
Campaign goes viral
Professor Charles Magee, Ph.D., gave a history lesson on the significance of FAMU’s status as an 1890 Land Grant Institution. He has several scholarships to give to students who major in the lucrative field of agriculture science, but needs alumni assistance to direct top scholars his way.
Alumna Cecka Rose Green, founder of the FAMU 10 for 10 Campaign, gave a presentation on how the fundraiser went viral instantly when she asked 10 friends to donate $10 to FAMU monthly and then ask 10 others to do the same. Within 48 hours, the campaign raised $10,000.
To date, the initiative has generated $176,000 and garnered 3,000 first-time donors. The next phase of the campaign is #8434. When 8,434 commit to donating $10 a month for 12 months, the collective efforts will raise $1 million annually.
‘Large FAMU-ly reunion’
FAMU alumni from across the nation partied with a purpose throughout the four-day convention.
Many are already making plans to attend the 2016 convention, which will be held Memorial Day weekend in Tampa.
“The national convention is essentially a large FAMU-ly reunion,” said Lt. Col. Gregory Clark, FAMUNAA first vice president and convention chair.
“It’s a great time to catch up with old friends, find out the latest news from the university and give back so that the next generation of Rattlers can experience everything that FAMU has to offer. This has been our largest turn out in six years, and I expect even larger numbers as the Rattlers gather in Tampa next year.”
For more information on the FAMU National Alumni Association, visit www.FAMUNAA.org. To donate to FAMU, visit www.FAMU.edu/RattlersGive.