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Donations to Erect a Bronze Life SizeStatue oDr. Frederick S. Humphries

In recognition of half century of leadership, academic excellence and service, a life sized bronze statue will be erected in honor of Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, eighth president of Florida A&M University.A native son of a small fishing hamlet in the panhandle of Florida, Apalachicola, Dr. Humphries would go on to become one of the most decorated, educated and honored citizens of this fishing community.  From Florida A&M University, to the University of Pittsburgh where he became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, he would become a drum major for equity in higher education.  One of his first challenges as an educator was to lead Tennessee State University to unprecedented heights as an institution of higher education.  It was here that he began to hone his skills as a president to set the course to elevate Florida A&M University to heights never imagined.

Under Dr. Humphries’ leadership as the eighth president of Florida A&M University, FAMU would experience unprecedented growth in enrollment.  The student population would double in less than ten years and the average First-Time-in-College (FTIC) average SAT score 1090 and 3.2 GPA would be on par with the sister institutions in the Florida system. During what has been termed the “Golden Era”, FAMU would garner the title as the”Number One Recruiter of National Achievement Scholars, edging out Harvard University, Stanford University, MIT and a host of other institutions.

In recognition of these accolades and triumphs, the TIME Princeton Review would name Florida A&M University the “College of the Year.”

            During his tenure, the university expanded its masters and doctoral (from one to 12) programs became the largest single HBCU campus.   In 1999, Black Issues in Higher Education cited FAMU for awarding more baccalaureate degrees to African-Americans than any other institution in this nation.  FAMU led in the combined production of teachers, natural sciences and engineering baccalaureate degrees.

New construction would reach an all-time high of almost a quarter of a billion dollars transforming the campus into one of the premier campuses in the southeast.  The erection of two modern apartment style dorms; a Frederick S. Humphries Science Research Center; B.L. Perry Classroom Building; School of Architecture addition; Hansel L. Tookes Recreation Center; School of Business and Industry; Coleman Library renovations and additions; University Commons; Black Archives renovation Sciences Building; FAMU DRS; Physical Plant and Police Station; School of Nursing building; Student Center; Heating and Cooling Plant;  FAMU-FSU College of Engineering renovations and additions; Baseball and Softball fields renovations and additions; Honors House; the Selby House; Viticulture Center; the Quincy Farm and Center; the Teleconference Center; Parking Garage; Band Practice Field; Foster-Tanner Music Hall; gravel Parking field; would mark the beginning of transforming the campus into an urban oasis.  Many of these buildings such as Lee Hall, Jackson-Davis, Truth Hall, etc., would undergo massive renovations after being shut down or condemned.  FAMU’s students would enjoy a Student Center that housed the new cafeteria, bookstore and other eateries.

The FAMU Foundation would experience unprecedented growth from six million dollars to almost $100 million dollars.  He established the Antoinette MacTurner Humphries Endowment for the Arts; The Frederick S. Humphries Endowment and the Minnie Humphries Endowment.

A decade of deficits in Athletics would be erased and replaced by a balanced budget and over $3 million dollars in surplus.

Because of his vision to produce the next generation of scientists, doctors, lawyers, educators, politicians, CEOs, and entrepreneurs, he partnered with almost a 155 companies which would be known as the FAMU Industry Cluster. These companies became sponsors of many of Dr. Humphries signature programs, like the “Life-Gets-Better Scholarship”, Eli Lilly Day, Ford Motor Company Day, 3M Day, and the Kimberly Clark Corporation –“Be Out Day” on campus.

The Eternal Flame, ten endowed chairs and five professorships in Journalism, Music, Engineering (joint), Chemistry, Business, Computer Science and Pharmacy were established, including approximately 50 endowed Life-Gets Better Scholarships because of significant contributions of the Industry Cluster.  Also, the 3M Corporation established the 3M Fellowship for a Life-Gets-Better Scholar majoring in engineering to pursue a Ph.D.

Students from this generation continue to make history.  Per the 2010 National Academy of Sciences report, Florida A&M University classes of 1995-1999 ranked #1 for Baccalaureate Degrees awarded to African Americans in traditional higher education institutions and ranked #1 as the Baccalaureate origin institution of African American Doctorates in Natural Sciences and Engineering (NS&E).

The Eternal Flame burns today to mark FAMU’s history as a beacon of hope for young aspiring minds, a safe harbor to educate and train the next generation of Florida citizens committed to making a difference.  In recognition of his contributions to Florida A&M University, the state of Florida and the country, a life size statue will be erected to overlook the Eternal Flame.  With your donations, the Frederick S. Humphries Life-Got-Better Bronze Statue will celebrate Dr. Humphries’ commitment and life’s works which elevated Florida A&M University and its students to national prominence.


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