Frederick S. Humphries, former president of Florida A&M University (FAMU), was honored by law students for his efforts to re-establish the FAMU College of Law.
Several members of the law school’s Class of 2008 were granted permission from LeRoy Pernell, dean of FAMU’s College of Law, to honor Humphries’ legacy by placing his portrait in the atrium. The portrait featuring a much younger Humphries was unveiled during the recognition program.
“I picked this picture because I took it when I started on the journey to re-establish the law school,” said Humphries.
“Students you are here today because of the blood and sweat of people like Dr. Humphries,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “He came to the helm of FAMU to re-establish the law school with tremendous passion.”
Ammons joined more than 150 students, faculty and guests in the College of Law Atrium on Friday, April 11, 2008 as they lauded Humphries’ efforts in returning the law school to the university.
“Dr. Humphries worked furiously with politicians, alumni and other friends of the university and was one of the chief advocates in convincing the Legislature to give FAMU the opportunity to once again foster a law program,” said third-year law student Chmari Anderson, president of the school’s Student Bar Association.
Humphries served as the eighth President of FAMU from 1985 until 2001. During his tenure, the institution achieved unprecedented heights including being named Princeton Review’s “College of the Year” in 1997. Humphries is currently a Regent Professor for the FAMU College of Law.
The College of Law was originally founded on December 21, 1949, where a division of law was established at the then Florida A&M College, and the first class was admitted in 1951. In 1966, the Florida Board of Control (later known as the Board of Regents) withdrew its permission for the institution to admit law students, and two years later, the law school graduated its last class and closed its doors. Between 1954 and 1968, the law school graduated 57 students.
The 2000 Florida Legislature unanimously passed legislation establishing a law school at Florida A&M University and on June 14, 2000, former Governor Jeb Bush signed the bill into law. The College of Law admitted its first class in fall 2002 at a temporary campus in downtown Orlando. The law school moved into its permanent facility in the Parramore neighborhood district of Orlando in 2006.
Photo Caption: FAMU President James H. Ammons (center) is pictured with FAMU College of Law Dean LeRoy Pernell (left to right), former FAMU president Frederick Humphries, FAMU Trustee Daryl Parks and People for the American Way Attorney Reggie Mitchell at the portrait dedication program at the law school.