Campaign Benefits FAMU Students
By Janelle Floyd
With students in mind, Florida A&M University faculty and staff were invited to the 26th Annual Endowment Campaign Breakfast.
The annual campaign offers faculty and staff the opportunity to impact present and future Rattlers with a charitable gift.
The event kicked off with a prelude played by the Florida A&M University (FAMU) Faculty Jazz Ensemble and the audience being treated to breakfast, provided by Metz Culinary.
As attendees received their breakfast, Justin Bruno, student body vice president, approached the podium.
“I was raised by a single mother and she didn’t know how she was going to send me to a four-year university,” said the Life Gets Better Presidential Scholar. “I wouldn’t be here today if the endowments and the contributions that people like you have made, were not offered.”
There are many Rattlers that have similar financial circumstances like Bruno. According to the Office of Financial Aid, more than 90 percent of FAMU students require additional financial assistance.
Last year’s campaign raised more than $192,000 with 34 percent participation from university employees. Every dollar raised goes to funding various scholarships, including Life Gets Better, academic support, fellowships, research and building projects.
“The endowment campaign is so important to this university,” said FAMU President Elmira Mangum. “As leaders of the institution, we continuously thank you for your support, and your participation in this campaign is invaluable. You are providing additional resources that we need to help our students graduate in four years.”
Mangum continued to explain the importance of students graduating in four years.
“We have provided additional programs to supplement our students process. The Strong Finish Scholarship Program and the Higher Achiever Program are designed to motivate our students to complete in four years.”
The Strong Finish scholarship, initiated in fall 2014, pays off a portion of a student’s college debt and recipients receive a $1,000 check to use for graduate school, housing or anything else they choose.
In addition to the Strong Finish award, the Higher Achiever scholarship is awarded to rising sophomores and juniors. The award supports students who come from low-income families, did not receive merit-based scholarships, maintain a high grade point average and are first in their families to attend college.
After Mangum’s university address, she received a standing ovation from everyone in the room, including Reba Hartsfield.
“I am here to support the money of the endowment for the students here at this university,” said Hartsfield, office assistant for the Vice President For Research. “Every dollar counts.”
At the end of the breakfast, it was announced that more than $154,000 was raised of the $250,000 goal.
To find out more information about the endowment campaign or make a donation, contact the Office of University Advancement at (850) 599-3491.