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Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

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Title: Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University  
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Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

"FAMU" redirects here. For the Czech school also known by that acronym, see Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
Florida A&M University
Motto Excellence With Caring
Established October 3, 1887
Type Public, HBCU
Endowment $88 million[1]
President Larry Robinson (Interim)
Provost Larry Robinson
Academic staff 620
Students 13,089[2]

Tallahassee, FL, USA
30°25′04″N 84°17′04″W / 30.4178°N 84.2845°W / 30.4178; -84.2845Coordinates: 30°25′04″N 84°17′04″W / 30.4178°N 84.2845°W / 30.4178; -84.2845

Campus Urban
420 acres (1.7 km2)
Former names Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes
State Normal and Industrial College for Colored Students
State Normal College for Colored Students
Colors Orange and Green
Athletics NCAA, Division I, MEAC
Nickname Rattlers and Lady Rattlers
Mascot Rattlers (Rattle Snake)

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, commonly known as Florida A&M University or FAMU, is a public, historically black university in Tallahassee, in the U.S. state of Florida. Founded in 1887, it is the largest historically black university in the United States by enrollment.[3] It is a member institution of the State University System of Florida, as well as one of the state's land grant universities, and is accredited to award baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The university is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.


FAMU has eight fully funded endowed eminent scholars chairs, including two in School of Journalism and Graphic Communications, four in the School of Business & Industry, one in the College of Education, one in Arts and Sciences, and one in its School of Pharmacy.

The university offers 62 bachelor's degrees in 103 majors/tracks. Thirty-six master's degrees with 56 majors/tracks are offered within eleven of the university's 13 schools and colleges. Two professional degrees and eleven PhD degree programs are offered.


Although Florida A&M University has been accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) since 1935, it is currently on probation following "a series of scandals in [2012]."[4]

College of Law

On December 21, 1949, a division of law was established at the then Florida A&M College and the first class was admitted in 1951. The legislature established the school because no "separate but equal" state-supported law school existed for African-Americans at that time.[5] The school's enrollment was limited to African-American male students and was located in Tallahassee, Florida.[5] The FAMU law school was closed through a vote by the Florida legislature in 1965, with the funds transferred to a new law school at Florida State University. The College of Law reopened in 2002 and now occupies its own 160,000-square-foot (15,000 m2) building at 201 Beggs Avenue in downtown Orlando. The four-story building was designed by Rhodes+Brito Architects of Orlando. The new building opened to students in 2005. Of the 1,807 who applied to the school in 2009, 630 were accepted and 234 enrolled.[5][6] Seventy-seven percent of the entering class are Florida residents, and 42% are non-minority students.

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

The School of Pharmacy was organized in 1951. It received its present name in 1985 in recognition of the expanded role and mission of the college in professional and graduate education. It is now one of the largest colleges of pharmacy in the country.[7] It offers a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (PharmD) and also a PhD program in Pharmacy. The fall PharmD enrollment was 1,068, and FAMU has produced over 20% of the nation's African-American pharmacists.[8] The Pharmacy School in 2009–2010 graduate student enrollment is 122, with 42 PhDs, 21 DrPH, 45 MPH and 14 MS candidates. The school has graduated over 60% of African-American PhDs in pharmaceutical sciences, since 1990.[8] In 2003 it was ranked third in the nation for research funding through the National Institute of Health and consistently ranks as one of the top funded pharmacy school in the southeast.[9] It is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) through June 30, 2010.[10]


FAMU’s annual research funding currently exceeds $54 million. Research is funded by grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.[11] For 2007-2008, the largest source of funds was $15.1 million from the US Department of Education, followed by $6.1 million from the Department of Agriculture (most of which is allocated to FAMU by virtue of it being a land grant university.) [12] FAMU's two largest research areas are agriculture and heath sciences.[12] The Pharmacy College's research funding for 2009-2010 is $22.5 million ($21.0 million in federal, $1.1 million in state support, and from $325,046 private industry support) with over $37,301,715 committed through 2012.[8]


Presidents of Florida A&M University
Thomas DeSaille Tucker 1887 – 1901
Nathan B. Young 1901 – 1923
William A. Howard * 1923 – 1924
John Robert Edward Lee 1924 – 1944
J.B. Bragg * April 5, 1944 – Sept 1, 1944
William H. Gray, Jr. 1944 – 1949
H. Manning Efferson * July 7, 1949 – April 1, 1950
George W. Gore 1950 – 1968
Benjamin L. Perry, Jr. 1968 – 1977
Walter L. Smith 1977 – 1985
Frederick S. Humphries 1985 – 2001
Henry Lewis III ** Jan. 2002 – June 2002
Fred Gainous 2002 – 2004
Castell V. Bryant ** Jan. 2005 – May 2007
Larry Robinson*** May 2007 – July 2007
James H. Ammons July 2007 – July 2012
Larry Robinson ** July 2012 –
* Acting President **Interim President ***Chief Executive Officer

On October 3, 1887, the State Normal College for Colored Students began classes, and became a land grant university four years later when it received $7,500 under the Second Morrill Act, and its name was changed to State Normal and Industrial College for Colored Students. However, it was not an official institution of higher learning until the 1905 Buckman Act, which transferred control from the Department of Education to the Board of Control, creating what was the foundation for the modern Florida A&M University. This same act is responsible for the creation of the University of Florida and Florida State University from their previous institutions. In 1909, the name of the college was once again changed to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes, and in 1953 the name was finally changed to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Florida A&M is the only publicly funded historically black college or university in the state of Florida. In the September 2006 issue of Black Enterprise Magazine, Florida A&M was named the number-one college for African Americans in the United States. This ranking based on the graduation rate, and the academic and social atmosphere. FAMU is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund. In the fall of 1997, FAMU was selected as the TIME Magazine-Princeton Review "College of the Year" and was cited in 1999 by Black Issues in Higher Education for awarding more baccalaureate degrees to African-Americans than any institutions in the nation.

2011 Band hazing and fallout

In 2011 Robert Champion, a band member, was beaten to death in a hazing incident. Since the 2011 death, a series of reports of abuse and hazing within the band have been documented. In May 2012, 2 faculty members resigned in connection with a hazing investigation and 13 people were charged with felony or misdemeanor hazing crimes.[13][14]

On July 11, 2012, James H. Ammons resigned as FAMU's president more than seven months after the incident.[15] On the same day the parents of Robert Champion, the FAMU drum major who died after a hazing incident, filed suit against the school's board of trustees, the company that owns the bus in which the abuse occurred and the bus driver Wendy Millette.[16] Five days later, on July 16, 2012, Florida A&M University’s Board of Trustees appointed provost Larry Robinson as interim president and permitted the resignation of James H. Ammons to become effective that day.[17] Reaction to the death of Champion continued into late 2012 as the university's regional accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, placed the university on probation.[4] On March 16, 2013, FAMU stopped its search for a new president. The university board chairman said it was the wrong time to move ahead with a new leader while the university was facing serious questions about its accreditation.[18]


FAMU's main campus is in Tallahassee, Florida, just south of the State Capitol and the campus of Florida State University. It also has a law school campus in Orlando, Florida and the Research and Development Center in Quincy, Florida. The College of Pharmacy has extension campuses in Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa and Crestview, Florida.[7]

Residential facilities

FAMU requires all first-year students and students with fewer than 12 credit hours to live on campus, if their families are over 35 miles (56 km) from the FAMU campus. Exceptions to this rule include married students, students with dependents, and students who are of age 21 by the start of classes.[19]

FAMU offers a limited number of rooms for students with dependent families.[19] Family households may occupy rooms in the Palmetto North Apartments.[20] Residents are zoned to Leon County Schools.[21] Residents are zoned to Bond Elementary School,[22] Nims Middle School,[23] and Leon High School.[24]

National historic district

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College Historic District
FAMU campus, Lee Hall
Location Tallahassee, Florida
Area 370 acres (1.5 km2)
Built 1907
Architect William Augustus Edwards; Rudolph Weaver, et al.
Architectural style Colonial Revival, Classical Revival
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 96000530[25]
Added to NRHP May 9, 1996

The Florida A&M Tallahassee Campus consists of 132 buildings spread across 420 acres (1.7 km2). Part of the campus is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places as the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College Historic District. It received that designation on May 9, 1996. The district is centered along the section of Martin Luther King Boulevard that goes through the campus. According to the National Register, it covers 370 acres (1.5 km2), and contains 14 historic buildings and 1 object. One campus building, the old Carnegie Library is listed separately on the National Register[25] On April 18, 2012, the AIA's Florida Chapter placed Lee Hall at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.[26]

Research and Development Center

The FAMU Research and Development Center in Quincy, Florida serves students in animal science, pre-veterinary medicine and veterinary technology. In May 2009, a new New Animal Healthcare Complex opened to support FAMU's pre-veterinary program. The complex was funded by a $1.2 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cooperative Extension Research.[27]


Samuel H. Coleman Memorial Library: This is the University's main library, named for Samuel Harrison Coleman, who served as the University's general alumni president for 14 years. The library was built in 1948, renovated in 1972, expanded in 1990 and again in 2004. The 88,964 square foot facility includes study rooms, a student study lounge and cafe, graduate & faculty study carrels, teleconference rooms, and a state-of-the-art information literacy classroom.

Phone: (850) 599-3330

Hours: Monday-Thursday: open 24 hours; Friday: 7:45am-10pm; Saturday: 10am-10pm; Sunday: 1pm-10pm

Along with the additional 20,000 square feet available in the branch libraries, the Florida A&M University Libraries provide a seating capacity of 920. The Libraries hold nearly 2 million volumes, over 155,000 e-books and e-journals, and 256,126 microforms, which are readily accessible to users and support both onsite and online programs.

Other branch libraries include:

School of Architecture Library: This library consists of monographs and periodicals pertaining to architecture, landscape architecture, construction technology, design and other related design fields. Patrons served include faculty, staff, students and administrators of the State University System, as well as, the local community and practitioners.

Phone: (850) 599-8776

Hours: Monday-Thursday: 8am-9pm; Friday: 8am-5pm; Saturday: Closed; Sunday: 2pm-7pm

Engineering Library: This is a joint-use library used by both Florida A&M University and Florida State University. The mission is to support and enhance learning, teaching, research, and service activities of the faculty, students, and staff at the College of Engineering. In support of this mission, the library is supported by both FAMU and FSU collections which collectively contain more than 4 million volumes, with more than 549,000 available as e-books.

Phone: (850) 410-6328

Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 8am-12am; Thursday: 8am-8pm; Friday: 8am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday: Closed

Journalism & Graphic Communication Resources Center: This library holds a core collection of books, periodicals, and audiovisual resources, including microtext, that support the research and information needs of students and faculty in the areas of print (newspaper, magazine) and broadcast (radio, television) journalism, public relations, photography, graphic design, printing production technology, and printing management and supervision.

Phone: (850) 412-5403

Hours: Monday-Thursday: 8am-7pm; Friday: 8am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday: Closed

Science Research Center Library: This library is located in Rooms 401-501 of the Frederick S. Humphries Science Research Center. It serves the research and information needs of students, faculty, and staff in the fields of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nursing & Allied Health Science, Environmental Science, Physics, Computer Science, and other related disciplines. It consists of monographs and periodicals, print and online journals, electronic databases, and indexes and reference books.

Phone: (850) 599-3393

Hours: Monday-Thursday: 8am-10pm; Friday: 8am-10pm; Saturday: 10am-7pm; Sunday: 1pm-10pm

Student life


Florida A&M University student enrollment population consists primarily of undergraduates. Ninety percent of the schools enrolled students are African-American. The next largest demographic group is White (non-Hispanic) students at 5%. Native Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans round out the remaining 5%.[28]


Florida A&M University is a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and participates in NCAA Division I-AA. FAMU's sports teams are called the "Rattlers." FAMU offers men's sports in baseball, basketball, football, golf, swimming, tennis and track and field. It offers women's sports in basketball, bowling, softball, swimming, wrestling, tennis, track and field and volleyball.[29]

From 1938 to 1961, the football team won the Black College National Championship eight times, including six times under head coach Jake Gaither, in 1950, 1952, 1954, 1957, 1959 and 1961. When Gaither retired after 25 years of coaching in 1969, his FAMU teams had a 203-36-4 (wins-losses-ties) record, for a .844 winning percentage. Thirty-six players from Gaither's teams were All-Americans, and 42 went on to play in the National Football League. During his 25 years as head coach, FAMU won 22 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships. Gaither was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1975. FAMU went on to win the first NCAA D1-AA National Championship in 1978 after defeating the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The Rattlers meet the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats every year in the Florida Classic on the third weekend in November. The Rattlers lead the overall series with Bethune Cookman University, 45-15-1. One of the most notable wins in FAMU football history came when they defeated the University of Miami in 1979.

On November 15, 2008, Florida A&M football received national attention when ESPN's College GameDay was broadcast live from the campus. FAMU became the first historically black college or university campus and is one of three FCS schools to ever host the program (the others being the University of Pennsylvania South Dakota State).

The men's basketball team has qualified for the opening round game of the NCAA men's basketball tournament three times (1999, 2004 and 2007). The FAMU Wrestling Team placed third in their region and had several national placers in 2008 under Coach Sharif.

Marching band

Main article: Marching 100

The FAMU band, The Marching 100, was named the "Best Marching Band in the Nation" by Sports Illustrated in August 1992. The band received national recognition in January 1993 when it performed in the 42nd Presidential Inauguration Parade by invitation of Bill Clinton. The band has also performed in the Super Bowl and in the 44th Presidential Inauguration Parade.

Gospel Choir

The FAMU Gospel Choir was established in 1957.

See also


External links

  • Official website
  • Official athletics website
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