Florida Memorial University celebrates its 135th birthday

Ashley Montgomery | 3/13/2014, 9 a.m.

Florida Memorial University, South Florida’s only Historically Black University is anticipating blowing out the candles on their 135th birthday cake. As tradition stands, on Thursday, March 13th at 10:00 a.m. in the Susie C. Holley Religious Center, FMU will be flooded with blue and orange paraphernalia. “Founder’s Day is a time to not only reflect on our rich 135 year history and our many historical accomplishments, but a time to look towards the future and embrace all that God his in store for us,” Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, president of FMU said.

“I think it’s essential that we remember the idea and concept of its founders and successors,” 1959 FMU alumnus, Franklin Clarke said. “Each year that passes, I become more and more thankful for what the founders have done for us all at FMU.”

Following the Founder’s Day convocation an actual birthday party at the Smith Center will take place with music, food and a huge cake-cutting ceremony.

The annual birthday party will include special guests, new and old to the FMU community. Key community figures and elected officials have been invited to attend and participate in the celebration. The invocation will be by Rev. Joe Turner, FMU class of 1991; drum led procession of students, faculty and staff, a traditional Founder’s Day Tribute and ceremonial wreath laying by the Royal Court; musical performances by the Ambassador Chorale; a panel discussion titled, “Reflections in Time” which will discuss community leader’s roles and memories in the civil rights movement, moderated by Adora Obi Nweze, president of the Florida State Conference of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

During its annual birthday festivities, the University will be rewarding honors with awards for their exceptional service and outstanding achievements. Dr. Artis plans to hand out the Nathan W. Collier Meritorious Award, the highest honor bestowed up a male.

The Sarah Blocker Meritorious Award will be presented to the highest honor bestowed by a female. Last but certainly not least, the Humanitarian Award which recognizes individuals who have given outstanding service to their community. FMU prides itself on its long standing traditional culture since its inception in 1879.

The university has upheld a commitment to providing a solid foundation for thousands of people by offering 41 undergraduate degree programs and four graduate degree programs.

The celebration also marks the 46th anniversary that FMU relocated to Miami from St. Augustine.