Transformation: The FAMU Legacy Banquet Will be a Proud Moment



By Rev. Dr. R. B. Holmes Jr.
President and CEO/ Live Communications, Inc.

The Bethel Missionary Baptist Church and Live Communications, Inc., have organized a very committed group of community leaders to support the legacy banquet. This legacy banquet will honor all former living presidents and interim presidents of Florida A&M University. Yes, you heard this correctly! On Aug. 27 at 7 p.m., in FAMU’s newly renovated Grand Ball Room, we will honor all living presidents, including the interim presidents. We are calling this event the “Legacy Banquet.”

Everyone who served as president of FAMU, did his or her best to make FAMU live forever more. It is important that in these times of so much uncertainty around the future of HBCUs, that we come boldly together and say it loud, that FAMU matters and all HBCUs are highly important.

I have had the great honor of knowing these presidents. I have worked closely with them. I have heard and seen their passion and love for this great institution. As a past member of FAMU’s Board of Trustees and as the pastor of the historic Bethel Missionary Baptist Church for 29 years, I know the pressure and stress that these former presidents and the current president have to endure. For this reason, the legacy banquet is critically important. We must learn to never forget those who paved the way for us; we must never forget the people who kept the lights on for our great institution; and we must never allow our disagreements to pull us apart. This legacy banquet will bring out the best in us. This legacy banquet will speak volumes to our advocates and adversaries that FAMU’s past, present and future will outlive all of us.



In this paper, several members of the Legacy Banquet Committee have written several op-eds about this event and most importantly, they have emphasized FAMU’s great legacy. My late mother finished from FAMU; my brother, brothers-in-law, and sisters finished from FAMU; my nieces and nephews finished from FAMU; my cousins and best friend finished from FAMU; many of Bethel’s members are presently working or have retired (with distinction) from FAMU; thousands of our church members matriculated at FAMU. Let me make it very clear: FAMU is very personal for me, my family, this newspaper, this community, this nation and world.

Moreover, the proceeds from the legacy banquet will go to support Florida A&M University’s athletic programs. I promised my friend, the late athletic director Dr. Nelson Townsend, that I would lead a campaign to raise $100,000 for the athletic program. In February of this year, the Capital City Bank, led by its president Bill Smith, hosted the first event for this effort. We were blessed to present FAMU President Elmira Mangum more than $30,000 for the athletics program. It is my prayer that the legacy banquet will take us over the top. Listen, my friends, your word is important and FAMU needs the resources.

I hope that we all will rally behind this significant effort. The tickets are only $100 per person. I have spoken with the capable chairman of the Board of Trustees, Rufus Montgomery, about this initiative. He is highly appreciative of our efforts. My friend, Tommy Mitchell, Sr., the president of FAMU’s National Alumni Association, is extremely supportive. Mr. Mitchell is also on the planning committee.

Let us all come together and make this one of the most powerful and proudest moments in the history of FAMU. Again, the Legacy Banquet will be held this Aug. 27, at 7 p.m. in the FAMU Grand Ball Room. The tickets are $100. The checks must be made out to the FAMU Foundation (Re: Athletics). You can contact Dr. Linda Fortenberry for questions and further information at (850) 681-0990 or
Finally, let us pay it forward. Thank you for your support.


Be encouraged.