FAMU touts Thurgood Marshall College Fund during three-day retreat
By Andrew J. Skerritt
FAMU Office of Communications
Florida A&M University held its three-day Thurgood Marshall College Fund Board Retreat last Wednesday through Friday.
In remarks to the group, FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., lauded TMCF’s role in assisting public Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
“We have a long-standing and substantive partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and we support your mission of supporting and representing nearly 300,000 students attending your 47 member-schools that include public HBCUs, medical schools, and law schools,” Robinson said. “We are happy that you are here and wish you a highly successful business meeting.”
Established in 1987, TMCF is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black college community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported HBCUs and predominantly Black institutions, enrolling nearly 80 percent of all students attending Black colleges and universities. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the K-12 and higher education space. The organization is also the source of top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.
FAMU is the first HBCU to host a TMCF Board retreat.
“This is historic for our organization. It’s the first time in the history of our Fund where we are actually having a retreat on one of our campuses,” said TMCF President & CEO Harry L. Williams, Ph.D. “The purpose of this retreat is to continue to strategize on ways to support HBCUs.”
Williams said the 30-member Board recommended having the gathering on the campus of an HBCU and President Robinson agreed to host the event. Choosing FAMU was strategic.
“It is important for our Board to get a clearer sense and understanding of the students. We’re going to have an opportunity to engage with students while we’re here,” Williams said. “Also, I wanted the Board to get a feel for one of our campuses. It’s a lot easier when you’re advocating and trying to raise money, to know what you’re raising money for. They’re going to leave here with a different perspective.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Board members met with FAMU students participating in TMCF’s Hennessy Fellowship Program.
Michelle Sapp Nettles, a 1994 FAMU economics graduate, introduced President Robinson during the Wednesday pre-lunch session.
“It’s awesome to be at FAMU at this pivotal time in our history. The partnership between Thurgood Marshall College Fund and FAMU has been long, and it will continue to endure,” said Nettles, global head of Human Relations and chief people and culture officer for ManpowerGroup. “I’m truly excited to be a board member of Thurgood Marshall College Fund and an alum of FAMU and willing and able and ready to take this institution to the next level.”