FAMU Holds 128th Founders’ Day Celebration
By Chaninn Ragland
Florida A&M University (FAMU) hosted its 128th Founders’ Day celebration Oct. 1 inside Jake Gather Gymnasium.
This year’s Founders’ Day guest speakers were Kanei E. Tucker – grandnephew of Thomas DeSallie Tucker the first president of FAMU, which was then called State Normal College for Colored students – and Katherine Lee, granddaughter of former FAMU President John Robert Lee.
Both came to offer encouraging words to the students. They challenged students to continue the university legacy that they’re uncle and grandfather helped build.
“Use this time to discover yourselves. Realize the greatest vehicle to bring about political change and economic change is through education. Use the time to embrace it,” said Tucker.
Katherine Lee said she believes her grandfather would be proud of the growth the university has made.
“He would be amazed by the growth of faculty numbers and student enrollment. As well the expansion of academic programs. He would be very complimentary of the accomplishments of FAMU alumni and how so many with their charitable deed and services to others.”
President Elmira Magnum also gave tribute to the life and legacy of the founding Dean of FAMU’s School of Business and Industry Sybil Mobley, who died on Sept. 29.
“I would like to pause and pay homage to the life and legacy of School of Business Industry Dean Sybil C. Mobley. Dean Mobley’s passion and dedication to the success of our students has sparked a movement of Rattlers around the world who have a profound impact on not only Business Industry but society as a whole. For that, we are eternally grateful,” Mangum said.
Magnum offered closing remarks reciting lyrics from popular rapper Jay-Z.
“As we celebrate the University’s 128th birthday, let us honor our founders and declare our commitment as a Rattler and as a family that we will never give up or give in,” said Mangum. “So I’ll give it to you like Jay-Z did: You may have had 99 problems but access and opportunity ain’t one. You may have had 99 problems but commitment is not one. You may have had 99 problems but quality is certainly not one.”