Tallahassee, FL – That is Monique Gillum, FAMU's student body president. Her last name may sound familiar. Her brother is Commissioner Andrew Gillium, a FAMU Alumni. It is Friday and the Rattler Nation, old and young, has gathered in Gaither Gymnasium for the Homecoming Convocation.
FAMU's keynote speaker is Will Packard, a 1996 graduate and creator of Rainforest films. His movie credits include The Gospel Stomp the Yard and This Christmas which is set for release later in the month.
As he delivers his message the point is clear- Remember the legacy of the institution. At the convocation are Rattlers of years past. Two former Miss FAM-C's (Florida Agriculture and Mechanical College) from 1941-43 sit proudly among other alumni. Mr. and Ms. Brotus Hartley, two FAMU alumni who also helped to lead Tallahassee's Bus Boycott were recognized. And lastly, the man that many students, faculty and alumni are calling Moses is standing to speak.
Dr. James Ammons is FAMU's 10th president. His arrival could be no sooner. FAMU's past year is memorable for many reasons and none of them good. But there is no doubt that this man has been chosen, some FAMU supporters would say by God, to lead to struggling institution.
In the end FAMU is standing. Despite all of its problems, all of controversy, all of the media coverage, bad audits and accreditation problems, FAMU is still rated as Black Enterprise Magazine's number 1 college for African Americans. They must be doing something right.
The FAMU faithful are fierce defendants of their alma mater. Like any other alumni, at any other institution, there is no giving up on their school. Right now, the Rattlers are celebrating. And as they prepare for Saturday's homecoming game against the North Carolina A & T Aggies, there is a consensus of thought among them- (insert Monique FAMU today, FAMU tomorrow, FAMU forever)
They are FAMU. For WFSU-FM, I'm Lynn Hatter.