Submitted by FAMU Public Relations
Florida A&M University President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., called on students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters to stand together even as the University faces adversity in its drive to become one America’s top 100 public universities.
“Let me address the ‘elephant in the room’ right off the bat, despite what you may have heard over the last two weeks, it really is a good time to be a Rattler. Let me re-assure you, we are addressing the concerns that have been raised by our athletes, housing concerns, and the band. The Board of Trustees has made it clear that they are holding me and our Senior Leadership Team accountable and we will respond accordingly with the truth, facts, and solutions,” Robinson told the gathering of the President’s Convocation in the Al Lawson Multipurpose Center, Friday, Sept. 9.
“We want to win on the field and in the classroom. Ultimately, we want every FAMU student to have a positive experience, achieve their goals, and fulfill their dreams. As they do so, the FAMU brand continues building and get stronger, and that’s the story we need you to help us tell. If I had to choose a theme for today, it is “Striking in Unity,” for that’s what we need to do.”
Members of the Rattlers football team wrote to Robinson complaining about compliance, financial aid, and housing issues. Residents of the Palmetto Phase III apartments were temporarily relocated to local hotels to address a pest infestation. President Robinson has unveiled a plan to hire half a dozen additional compliance officers and academic advisers to ensure athletes remain eligible to play and graduate on time.
Robinson contrasted those concerns with the University’s progress in improving the academic profile of first time in college students.
“The Class of 2026 academic profile is very impressive with a 3.91 incoming grade point average,” Robinson told students gathered for the occasion. “You are in the right place, and you made the right choice. Your future is bright. The seniors, juniors, and sophomores can attest to that.”
A highlight of the fall semester ritual is the introduction of the members of the Marching “100”, Director Shelby Chipman, Ph.D., touting their high GPA of the freshman class members.
Among the accomplishments Robinson touted was the record year in fundraising -$24.6 million- and research – $75 million, the latter thanks to the work of faculty.
“We are pushing closer to becoming a Carnegie Research 1 institution,” said Robinson, referring to one of the University’s major goals for the next five years.
This was also a good year for FAMU in the state budget.
“We also had a banner year, perhaps the best ever, in the Florida Legislature with some $70 million in funding allocations coming to FAMU to support infrastructure needs, deferred maintenance, student success and our faculty,” Robinson said. “Great universities become great because of their people. Every FAMU achievement and every challenge we conquer together is because of our people. I can’t make us great alone, and neither can you, but together…together, we are a mighty force to be reckoned with, that’s ‘Striking in Unity.’”