Monday, March 16, 2009

FAMU Awards $554,000 in Scholarships During 2009 Bus Tour

Students and their parents filled two venues — one in Gainesville, the other in Fort Lauderdale, where they were entertained by Florida A&M University (FAMU) students before 32 scholarships were offered on the spot as part of President James H. Ammons’ Up Close and Personal Tour.

On Thursday, March 12 in Gainesville, Ammons started his three-city road tour, which was designed to recruit the best and the brightest and boost FAMU’s enrollment.

“We wanted the community to know that we value academic excellence and we are willing to reward it,” said Ammons. “We wanted those students who worked hard and excelled to understand that FAMU has the programs and support systems in place to give them the competitive edge. Whatever their future plans are, we told them, you can get there from here. Florida A&M University is the institution that will help you to discover what you can become.”

In Fort Lauderdale, Ammons awarded the first Life-Gets-Better Scholarship during the tour to Krystan McAulay, a student at North Miami Beach Senior High School. This is FAMU’s top scholarship that covers tuition, room, board and books while providing a stipend for miscellaneous expenses. This scholarship, valued at $80,000, also includes summer internships and a laptop computer.

“This is what I needed,” said McAulay, who plans to major in biology. “I live with my grandparents and they don’t work. I didn’t want to incur a lot of loan debt so I am really excited about this opportunity. It is a blessing.”

At Springhill Missionary Baptist Church in Gainesville, more than 400 people attended the reception where the FAMU Connection, which comprises of a group of students, told FAMU’s story through song and dance. Ten students received full scholarships and five partial scholarships were offered ranging from $8,000 to $24,000 over a four-year period. The scholarships were awarded based on the students meeting the SAT, ACT and grade point average requirements.

On Friday, the FAMU Connection performed at Palm Beach Lakes High School where one student received a full scholarship. Ten partial scholarships were awarded ranging from $4,000 to $16,000. At the reception in Fort Lauderdale that evening, Ammons awarded a Life-Gets-Better Scholarship and 11 partial scholarships ranging from $8,000 to $80,000. Three of the partial scholarships were awarded to community college students.

“It was a great tour,” said Ammons. “It gave us an opportunity to recruit some of the best and brightest students the state of Florida has to offer. “I believe we achieved what we set out to do. We wanted students and their parents to know that even though these are tough economic times for many, FAMU has made a commitment to the academically talented.”

In addition to recruitment activities, Ammons participated in several meetings targeted at advancing the university. He had a corporate visit at Florida Power and Light and met with management at NBC 6 in Miramar. He also met with the editorial boards at the Miami Herald and the Florida Sun-Sentinel.

“We are grateful for all of the support that we received from alumni in Gainesville and Broward County, supporters and friends,” said Ammons.

Alumni in Gainesville and Broward County, along with personnel at local school districts, assisted university officials in informing qualified students about the education receptions.

For a complete list of the scholarship recipients visit,

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