Florida A&M University
MottoExcellence With Caring
EstablishedOctober 3, 1886
TypePublic, HBCU
Endowment$88 million [1]
PresidentLarry Robinson (Interim)
ProvostLarry Robinson
Academic staff620
Students13,089 [2]
LocationTallahassee, FL, USA
420 acres (1.7 km2)
Former namesFlorida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes
State Normal and Industrial College for Colored Students
State Normal College for Colored Students
ColorsOrange and Green
AthleticsNCAA, Division I, MEAC
NicknameRattlers and Lady Rattlers

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, commonly known as Florida A&M University or FAMU, is a public, historically black university in Tallahassee, 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. 36 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 LawEdit

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 SciencesEdit

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]

Research Edit

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.[citation needed] 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 falloutEdit

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, have 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]


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 facilitiesEdit

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.[18]

FAMU offers a limited number of rooms for students with dependent families.[18] Family households may occupy rooms in the Palmetto North Apartments.[19] Residents are zoned to Leon County Schools.[20] Residents are zoned to Bond Elementary School,[21] Nims Middle School,[22] and Leon High School.[23]

National historic districtEdit

File:Carnegie Library at Florida A&M University Tallahassee, Florida.jpg

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[24] 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.[25]

Research and Development CenterEdit

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.[26]

Student lifeEdit


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%.[27]


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.[28]

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.[citation needed] 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 two FCS schools to ever host the program (the other being the University of Pennsylvania).[citation needed]

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 bandEdit

The FAMU band, The Marching 100, was named the "Best Marching Band in the Nation" by Sports Illustrated in August 1992.[citation needed] 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 ChoirEdit

The FAMU Gospel Choir was established in 1957.

See alsoEdit


  1. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009".
  2. "FAMU Sets New Enrollment Record". Gray Television, Inc.. 2010-08-30. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
  3. Huffington Post, Feb. 26, 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gary Finout (December 11, 2012). "Scandals threaten FAMU's accreditation". Associated Press. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Kay, Julie (Jan. 1, 2010). "Saving the School". American Bar Association Journal. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
  6. "1L Class Profile". Retrieved 2009-12-31.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Overview". Retrieved 2009-12-31.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Fact Sheet". Retrieved 2009-12-31.
  9. "NIH Rankings".
  10. "Accreditations". Retrieved 2009-12-31.
  11. "Research". Retrieved 2009-12-31.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Summary of Federal Contracts & Grants Awards Listed by Federal Sponsoring Agency". Retrieved 2009-12-31.
  13. "Death of Florida A&M's Robert Champion ruled a homicide". BBC News. December 17, 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  14. "13 Charged in Hazing Death". FOX News / Associated Press. May 2, 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  15. "FAMU president resigns in wake of hazing death". CNN. July 12, 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  16. "Lawsuit details alleged abuse that led to drum major's death". CNN. July 12, 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  17. "FAMU Provost to serve as interim president". WTLX TV. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Frequently Asked Questions." Florida A&M University. Retrieved on October 2, 2011.
  19. Mitchell, Marri. "Families find housing on campus." The FAMUian. March 17, 2010. Retrieved on October 2, 2011.
  20. "Campus Map." Florida A&M University. Retrieved on October 2, 2011. Palmetto North consists of buildings 152 to 160, in the lower right area of the map.
  21. "Leon County Elementary School Zoning 2009-2010 School Year." Leon County Schools. Retrieved on August 15, 2011.
  22. "Leon County Middle School Zoning 2009-2010 School Year." Leon County Schools. Retrieved on August 15, 2011.
  23. "Leon County High School Zoning." Leon County Schools. Retrieved on August 15, 2011.
  24. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named nris
  25. "Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.". THE FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  26. "Ribbon-Cutting for New Animal Healthcare Complex". Retrieved 2009-12-31.
  27. "Enrollment Summary, Fall 2009" (PDF). FAMU. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  28. "Official Website for FAMU Athletics". Retrieved 2009-12-31.

External linksEdit

es:Universidad Agrónoma y Mecánica de Florida

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