FAMU Honors Local Women for Special Herstory Event The event served to celebrate Women’s History Month
By Ferrisa Connell
Special to the Outlook
Attendees from all walks of life adorned vibrant hats and gloves while gracefully filling in the newly renovated Grand Ballroom on Florida A&M University’s campus Saturday to celebrate the achievements of 13 women who have impacted the 127-year legacy of FAMU and the community-at-large, at the Inaugural Heroines’ Tea event.
“We celebrate these remarkable women who have dedicated their time, talents, and resources to advancing the FAMU legacy and supporting our communities,” said FAMU President Elmira Mangum.
Honorees ranged from various professions, ages and backgrounds. However, they all had in common the love of FAMU.
The honorees included:
•The Honorable Mia Jones, Florida House of Representatives, District 14
•Cecka Rose Green, communications director of Florida Housing Finance Corp.
•The Honorable Arthenia Joyner, Florida Senate, District 19
•The Honorable Corrine Brown, Florida House of Representatives, District 5
•Sandi Thompson, J.D., philanthropist and attorney
•Carrie Mae Marquess, Ph.D., retired FAMU faculty member
•Veronica Wiggins, Lady Rattlers Softball head coach
•Anne Gayles-Felton, Ph.D., author and retired FAMU faculty member
•Dorothy Terrell, philanthropist and former president of Sun Microsystems, Inc.
•Barbara Barrett, Ph.D., former interim vice president for Student Affairs
•Barbara Black, retired FAMU faculty member
•Dorothy Williams, retired FAMU administrator and member of Rattler Boosters
•Gladys Lang, Ph.D., retired FAMU administrator
The youngest of honorees Cecka Rose Green, who started the FAMU 10 for 10 challenge – a fundraising campaign that went viral, told the audience how she stood on the shoulders of all the other honorees and was truly thankful to be amongst such phenomenal women.
“While I admire all the honorees, Cecka Rose Green’s message stood out to me. She motivated me to work even harder for my university and that you can be so impactful that people will recognize your hard work even at a young age,” said Tonnette Graham, student body president.
The Heroines’ Tea not only served as recognition ceremony, but it was also a benefit event where all proceeds will help support book scholarships for students enrolled in summer courses.”
Over the course of the event, guests were served an assortment of tea time food delicacies with tea. An inspirational message from First Lady Elise Simmons of Jacob Chapel Baptist Church was shared. As well as guests were also entertained by a harpist Karen Jackson and a musical selection of the Broadway show Smokey Joe’s Café song “I Am A Woman” performed by the students of FAMU Essential Theatre, who were given a standing ovation.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the Heroines’ tea, I think it showed that our university is definitely in support of women’s empowerment and isn’t afraid to honor sisterhood. I loved being able to experience this event as a student, so that I could learn about many of the women who have fought and are still fighting for FAMU,” said Jasiri Toppin, FAMU sophomore.
The Heroines’ Tea is a part of the Women’s History Month series “Tell It On Tuesday” where President Mangum will host an array of activities that will highlight the reach of women throughout history.
There is an upcoming event taking place on the last Tuesday of March. “Extraordinary Reach” featuring Congresswoman Gwen Graham from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and is free to the public. More information can be seen on the University’s website.