Elmira Mangum’s Inauguration as Florida A&M University’s eleventh president capped a week of celebrating the school’s “new season” with her appointment. Speakers from FAMU and across the nation praised Mangum and her vision for the school at the ceremony Friday.
A crowd of FAMU students, professors, graduates and trustees cheered as Trustee Chair Solomon Badger presented the University Mace, a ceremonial staff decorated in school colors, to Elmira Mangum. The exchange signified Mangum's acceptance of the position as the school’s head. Mangum says she’s excited for the position.
“It’s a true honor to stand here and accept this responsibility, to preserve the legacy of open doors to an accessible and affordable education that embraces the needs of today and tomorrow," Mangum says. "As the eleventh president, I am committed to this challenge.”
Friday not only marks the beginning of Mangum’s presidential term, but it’s also FAMU’s Founders Day --a celebration of the school’s past leaders and its creation. Guest speaker Mary Breaux Wright praised Mangum for her role as the school’s first female president and for what she’s already accomplished since taking the reins.
“Since her arrival FAMU has tackled several issues facing the university, and will face many more," Wright says. "But let me tell you, a woman is like a teabag: you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”
But Mangum says FAMU has reached a turning point in its history for other reasons.
“It’s a new season because it’s a time of change and transition. It’s the beginning of a recovery and a renewal and of all that is great about FAMU,” Mangum says.
Mangum used the celebration week to highlight major priorities in her vision for the school like community service, civil engagement, and environmental sustainability.