THE HISTORY OF THE FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY NATIONAL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Since the first five students graduated from the State Normal School For Colored Students in 1892, approximately 75,000 alumni have migrated all over this state, this nation and abroad. The success and significant accomplishments of these graduates are manifestations of the quality of their development at Florida A&M University and FAMU’s legacy of progressing and making the essential adjustments to meet the ever changing demands of society.
The Alumni Association was first organized in 1901 with Elias G. Evans, from Live Oak & the class of 1895 as president with a mission of helping to secure the Carnegie Library as well as raising funds for books. Under the next president in 1907, Everett Jones, class of 1895, the alumni association became a more statewide organization.
During the Association’s century of existence, the FAMU National Alumni Association has provided the kind of leadership that has helped to create a spirit in alumni that is second to no other university in America. Alumni involvement in image building, student recruitment, fund raising, governmental relations and other vital supportive activities has been essential to the welfare and survival of our alma mater. the Association has been led by seventeen strong alumni presidents from 1901 to the present the eighteen (18) presidents include the following: Elias G. Evans, Everett B. Jones, Samuel Coleman, Everett Rolfe, Lucille Coleman, Horace D. Goode, Charles Wilson, James Gant, Leonard W. Johnson, Moses General Miles, Joseph L. Webster, Herman Davis, Nathaniel Pilate, Bernard Kinsey, Carolyn Collins, Alvin Bryant, Tommy Mitchell Sr. and and current President Gregory L. Clark.
Under the leadership of these outstanding presidents, the Alumni Association has assisted the institution in a variety of ways:
- Alumni concern and very adamant support for the “autonomy and viability “ of Florida A&M University as a predominantly black institution are credited with helping to prevent a merger of Florida A&M with predominantly white Florida State University.
- In 1981, the Association, together with the University, organized a ten million dollar endowment campaign to celebrate the University’s 100th year in 1987. The endowment total is currently over 100 million dollars.
- Alumni donations have shown approximate growth from $100 in 1913 to over a million dollars in 2010.
- In 2016 the FAMU NAA raised over $715,128 at the Annual Convention Fundraiser Breakfast in Tampa, Florida.
From these historical glimpses of alumni involvement, it is apparent that a major portion of the welfare of our alma mater, for the first 100 years, rested largely upon the shoulders of alumni. Our challenge for the next 100 years is urgent and irresistible, if our university is to continue its progress. Alumni must “rise up” and provide the kind of support that will ensure Florida A&M University remains a viable and autonomous institution.