Monday, August 30, 2010

FAMU Mourns the Loss of Dr. William P. Foster

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) family is mourning the loss of one of its legends, Dr. William P. Foster, who was known as the “Dean of America’s Band Directors.”

Foster, who was also called The Law and The Maestro, was the creator of the noted FAMU Marching “100.” He served as the band’s director from 1946 to his retirement in 1998. He is credited with revolutionizing marching band techniques and reshaping the world’s concept of the collegiate marching band. Foster brought more than 30 new techniques to the band that have now become standard operating procedure for high school and college bands nationwide.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Foster,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “As a visionary leader, he built America’s greatest band by departing from the standard routines and maneuvers to showcase band pageantry. I can attest to the fact that what he created was magical. It was the marching band, at an Orange Blossom Classic in Miami, that sparked my interest in attending FAMU. The band was dynamic, larger than life and something that I wanted to have access to even though I was not a musician.”

Ammons went on to say, “Dr. Foster was a legend during his reign and will always be remembered as a key figure in the life and history of FAMU, helping to build our brand not only in America, but internationally. He left an indelible mark on this university. His work will live on at FAMU and in bands across this nation and the world.”

Foster’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday, September 4, at 11 a.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium on FAMU’s campus and will be proceed by a public concert of tribute at 10 a.m. as performed by the FAMU Department of Music. The memorial service is scheduled for Friday, September 3, at 6 p.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium. There are also public viewings scheduled for Friday, September 3, from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday, September 4, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to be made to the “William P. and Mary Ann Foster Endowed Scholarship Fund” at FAMU in support of FAMU band scholarships.

On June 1, 1946, William P. Foster became Director of Bands at FAMU with 16 members, and created what is known today as “The Most Imitated Marching Band in America.” His textbook Band Pageantry is considered to be “The Bible” for the marching band.

“Dr. Foster, who is founder and creator of the FAMU Marching “100,” is viewed with great respect among hundreds of past and present members,” said Dr. Julian White, FAMU’s director of Bands. “We are deeply saddened by his death, but appreciative that we had him so long to share with us his great love for music and the profession. We pledge to continue this outstanding legacy that he created and offer our condolences to the Foster family.”

Foster began his music career by learning to play the clarinet at age 12. While in high school, his talent was recognized and he was appointed student director of the Sumner High School Orchestra in Kansas City, Kansas. In 1936, he became the director of an all city band. Foster was a fellow of the Rosenwald General Education Board at Teacher’s College, Columbia University from 1953 to 1955 for doctorate studies. He received his bachelor of music education degree from the University of Kansas in 1941, the master of arts in music degree from Wayne State University in 1950, a doctor of education degree with a major in music from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1955, and the honorary Doctor of Human Letters Degree in 1998 from FAMU.

Under Foster’s direction, the Marching “100” has appeared in films, commercials, numerous magazine and newspaper articles and nationally televised performances. In 1989 the French chose Dr. Foster and his band as America’s official representative in the Bastille Day Parade, celebrating the bicentennial of the French Revolution. On January 27, 1996, the Marching “100” was the centerpiece of the opening ceremonies of the Walt Disney Indy 200. The “100” was also the featured attraction at the 15th and 25th Anniversary for the National Telecast of Walt Disney World in 1986 and 1996. In January 1993 and 1997, the band appeared in the Inaugural Parade of former President Bill Clinton.

Dr. Foster has been inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, the National Association for Distinguished Band Conductors Hall of Fame, the Florida Music Educators Association Hall of Fame and the Afro-American Hall of Fame. He has also served as national presidents of the American Bandmasters Association, the College Band Directors National Association and was appointed to the National Council on the Arts by former President Bill Clinton.Foster is the author of the book The Man Behind the Baton and Band Pageantry: A Guide for the Marching Band. He is the composer of Marche Brillante, National Honors March, March Continental, and Centennial Celebration.

Curtis B. Inabinett, Jr., a former City Councilman in Ravenel, SC, remembers the first time he saw the Marching “100” during halftime of Super Bowl III.

“I fell in love with the band and have been in love with it since,” said Inabinett. “He is like a giant to me, a person that commanded respect and got it.”

Inabinett was instrumental in bringing to the attention of the College Band Director’s National Association the achievements of Dr. Foster. This fall during the October 2 FAMU football game, the president of the organization, Dr. Thomas Duffy, was to present to Dr. Foster the “College Band Directors Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.” Foster is the only African American to serve as national president of the organization and only one of five individuals ever selected to receive the award.

Bishop Adam J. Richardson, who was elected and consecrated the 115th Bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1996, said Dr. Foster was a class act.

“He was an extraordinary scholar, gentleman and icon not only at FAMU, but in the United States,” said Bishop Richardson who served as drum major of the Marching “100” from 1966-1969 and participated in Super Bowl III. “He believed in quality and excellence. He helped us to strive toward that to the point that we did not think of ourselves as second to anyone. He was revered by every person who ever participated in the band at FAMU. It is a sad day in the life of us all.”

Linda Dilworth, a close friend of the Foster family and president of the Tallahassee Chapter of The LINKS, Inc., said that Dr. Foster was able to unify and strengthen the community through his work.

“He offered a focus that everybody could rally around,” said Dilworth, who also attends Dr. Foster’s church, St. Michael and ALL Angels Episcopal Church. “He brought a lot of pride to FAMU and he was always there to lend his support through music. Music was his passion and through music he was able to advocate for education, good character and leadership.” The following is a list of the Marching “100” achievements under the leadership of Dr. Foster:

* 1950 - The Marching Band consisted of 110 members and became widely known as the Marching “100”;
* March 17, 1950 - The Marching Band became the first black band to appear in the Festival of States Parade;
* 1953 - The Marching Band incorporated a dance routine using the music of “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” in a half-time performance at the Orange Blossom Classic in Miami, Fla.;
* April 1953 - The Marching Band was featured in an article in The Courier Magazine;
* January 1956 - The Marching Band was mentioned in an article by Ebony Magazine titled Orange Blossom Classic Is Top Negro Grid Bowl Game;
* December 1958 - The Miami Herald proclaimed the Marching Band as The Marchingest, Playingest, Band in the Land;
* January 6, 1963 - The Marching Band made its national television debut at the Pro Playoff Bowl on CBS TV in the Orange Bowl Stadium in Miami, Fla.;
* November 1963 - The Marching Band appeared in an Ebony Magazine article titled The Best Band in the Land;
* December 1963 - The Marching “100” received its first international recognition when it performed for the Kiwanis International Cultural Exchange Program in Nassau, Bahamas;
* January 5, 1964 - The Marching Band made its second nationally televised appearance at the Pro Playoff Bowl;
* December 27, 1964 - The Marching Band made its third nationally televised appearance for the NFL Championship Game in Cleveland, Ohio;
* 1966 - The Seven Up Company of St. Louis, Mo. and the Sterling Drug Company of New York established an annual $1,500 scholarship in music in honor of Dr. William P. Foster;
* 1968 - Dr. William P. Foster authored Band Pageantry: A Guide for the Marching Band;
* January 21, 1968 - The Marching Band made its fourth national television appearance at the AFL All-Star Game on NBC television;
* August 1968 - The Marching Band appeared in the Paramount News Film Half Time USA;
* January 12, 1969 - The Marching Band performed at Super Bowl III in the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla;
* January 19, 1969 - The Marching Band performed at the AFL All-Star Game in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.;
* October 10, 1969 - The Fine Arts Center on FAMU’s campus was named in honor of Dr. William P. Foster, and well-known African-American artist Henry O. Tanner;
* November 30, 1969 - The Marching Band performed at halftime for the NFL Game between the Boston Patriots and the Miami Dolphins;
* September 25, 1971 - The Marching Band represented the University of Kansas Band during halftime at a Kansas vs. Florida State University game at Doak Campbell Stadium;
* 1971 - The Marching Band recorded an album, FAMU Spirit;
* 1975 - The Marching Band made its first national television commercial for Coca-Cola: Look Up America, I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing;
* October 1975 - The Marching Band performed at halftime for the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins;
* December 1975 - The Marching Band performed at haltime for the Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills;
* 1977 - A Joint Resolution from the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate was presented to Dr. William P. Foster;
* 1978 - The Marching Band performed at the first NCAA Division 1 - AA National Championship Game at the Pioneer Bowl in Wichita Falls, Texas;
* 1978 - The Marching Band performed at the “Battle of the Bands” in the New Orleans Super Dome;
* February 24, 1979 - The General Assembly of Washington, D. C. proclaimed February 24 as FAMU Band Day;
* February 20, 1980 - The Marching Band made its second national television commercial for Welch’s Grape Soda;
* March 29, 1981 - The Marching Band was featured in a 60 Minutes documentary on CBS TV;
* January 1983 - The Marching Band performed at Super Bowl XVII in Tampa, Fla.;
* August 1983 - The Marching Band was featured in a documentary on ABC’s 20/20 television show;

* November 1983 - The Marching Band was featured in a PM Magazine documentary on CBS television
* November 14, 1984 - Dr. Foster and the “100” appeared in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Learning;
* December 1984 - Ebony Magazine featured Dr. William P. Foster and the Marching Band in an article titled William P. Foster: A Fabled Director and His Band;

* 1984 - The Marching Band performed at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Calif.;

* October 26, 1985 - The Marching Band was presented the Sudler Intercollegiate Marching Band Trophy. The “100" became the fourth recipient and the first (still the only) historically black university band to receive the trophy. This award is the highest honor a collegiate marching band can receive. With the presentation, the “100” became the first southern band to receive the award;

* 1986 - The Marching Band performed for the 15th Anniversary Celebration of Walt Disney World on national television;

* February 4, 1986 - Dr. William P. Foster and the “100” were honored on the floor of the 99th U.S. Congress for receiving the Sudler Award;

* 1987 - Dr. William P. Foster and the Marching Band appeared in a book, America Is My Neighborhood by Williard Scott of the NBC Today Show;

* March 12, 1989 - The Governor of Florida and the Mayor of Tallahassee proclaimed that March 12 is Dr. William P. Foster Day in the State of Florida;

* 1989 - Governor Bob Martinez issued a proclamation declaring July 18 as The Florida A&M Marching 100 Day in the State of Florida;

* July 1989 - A major news story about the Marching Band was broadcast on the Voice of America, international radio station of the United States government;

* July 14, 1989 - The Marching Band was selected to be the official United States representative at the Bicentennial Celebration of the French Revolution, better known as Bastille Day in Paris, France. This celebration was seen live worldwide by millions. Front page articles about the “100” appeared in newspapers such as the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times

* July 1989 - Lead story in the New York Times, A Birthday Gift to France: 500 American Feet in Paris referring to the “100;”

* July 18, 1989 - The 101st session of the United States House of Representative honored Dr. William P. Foster and the “100” on the floor of Congress for being the official United States Representative in Paris, France for the French Revolution Bicentennial Celebration;

* 1989 - The House of Representatives of the State of Florida honored Dr. William P. Foster and “100” for being the only band in the United States selected for the honor of performing in the French Revolution Bicentennial;

* 1992 - Sports Illustrated magazine listed the Marching Band as The Best College Marching Band in the Country;

* 1993 - The Marching Band represented the State of Florida in the Inaugural Parade of former President Bill Clinton in Washington, D.C.;

* 1994 - The Marching Band’s percussion section and four drum majors performed at the Kennedy Center Concert for former President Bill Clinton in Miami, Fla.;

* 1995 - The Marching Band performed for President Bill Clinton’s visit to Tallahassee;

* 1995 - The Florida General Assembly recognized Dr. William P. Foster for his 50 years of service and outstanding achievements to the State of Florida;

* July 26, 1996 - Dr. William P. Foster and the Marching Band were inducted into the Afro-American Hall of Fame for Fine Arts. The Marching Band became the first student organization to be inducted into the Hall of Fame;

* December 19, 1996 - The Marching Band received its second invitation to participate in former President Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC;

* 1996 - The Marching Band participated in festivities marking the 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.;

* 1996 - The Marching Band performed for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s visit to the FAMU campus;

* 1997 - The Marching Band represented the State of Florida at the second Inaugural Parade of former President Bill Clinton in Washington, DC;

* 1997 - A New York Times article: 50 Years as a Marching Band Guru, which referred to Dr. William P. Foster; and

* 1998 - Dr. William P. Foster retired after 52 years of service to the university, the State of Florida, the nation and the world. As of August 9, 1998, he holds the position of Emeritus Professor, chairman of the Music Department, Emeritus and Director of Bands. His legacy, influence, and presence is still being felt as the Marching Band continues to break ground and receive national attention, and awards.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

FAMU Schedules the Annual President Convocation

Florida A&M University (FAMU) has scheduled the annual President’s Convocation from 10:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. on Friday, August 27, at the Alfred Lawson, Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium. All classes will be canceled until noon for this convocation.

FAMU President James H. Ammons is slated to deliver the State of the University address at the convocation. This convocation will also serve as an introduction to the 2010 Rattler football team and head coaches as well as the Marching “100” drum majors.

For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (850) 599-3413.

FAMU Mourns the Death of Civil Rights Icon and Alumna Wilhelmina Jakes Street

Civil Rights icon and Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumna Wilhelmina Jakes Street passed away at the age 80. Jakes Street is highly celebrated for her role in initiating the Tallahassee Bus Boycott of 1956.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, August 21, at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens Central, 499 Northwest 27th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The viewing will begin at 1:30 p.m., and the funeral will follow at 2 p.m.

“We are deeply saddened and devastated over the loss of one of our trailblazers and activists for civil rights,” said Carmen Cummings, director of Alumni Affairs. “Her sacrifice, diligence and contributions to FAMU, to this community, and to the State of Florida will never go unforgotten. She will be sorely missed.”

Street was born September 14, 1929, in Hardeeville, S.C. As a result of her father’s untimely death, Jakes Street moved with her mother and siblings to West Palm Beach, Fla., where she was raised. She attended FAMU to major in education. During her time as a student at FAMU, she and her close friend, Carrie Patterson, a 20-year-old English major from Lakeland, Fla., were arrested for refusing to move to the back of a crowded city bus. This courageous act sparked what is known today as “The Tallahassee Bus Boycott.” Many prominent figures such as Rev. C. K. Steele, Rev. Herbert C. Alexander, Dr. C. U. Smith, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and several others were actively involved in supporting these students with a systematic approach to integrating the city’s public transportation system.

After graduating from FAMU in 1956, she went on to fulfill her professional aspiration as a Florida schoolteacher for 33 years. Jakes was an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Federated Women’s of Club of Fort Lauderdale; FAMU National Alumni Association; and life-long member of National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She was also a dedicated servant of New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

As a FAMU student, Jakes Street lived on Jennings Street with Carrie Patterson, who is also credited with igniting the 1956 Tallahassee Bus Boycott. On January 30, 2009, Leon County officials renamed Jennings Street in Tallahassee, Fla. to Jakes & Patterson Street in their honor.

During FAMU’s 2006 Spring Commencement activities, both Patterson (posthumously) and Jakes received the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award and its first Freedom Award.

She was married to the late Neopoleon Street. She had one daughter, Priscilla Lewis (deceased).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Grape Harvest Festival

Young Alumni Awards: A 40/40 Celebration

One Stop Shop Registration

Florida A&M University (FAMU) has scheduled a One-Stop-Shop Registration for the fall semester beginning August 18 through August 20, and August 23 through August 25, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Alfred Lawson, Jr., Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium.

The purpose of the One-Stop-Shop is to improve the efficient and effective operation of the registration process by housing all of the critical areas in one facility. Students will be able to address the following registration issues in the one stop:

* Receive iRattler and e-mail access
* Have holds lifted
* Receive academic advisement
* Address financial aid and student accounts issues
* Register for classes (computer access)
* Pay fees using credit or debit cards
* Submit health immunization forms

Free parking will be available for students in Bragg Memorial Stadium. Food will also be available for purchase. For more information, call (850) 599-3276.

General Counsel Featured Among Florida's Legal Elite

Florida A&M University (FAMU) General Counsel Avery McKnight was selected as a member of Florida Trend’s 2010 Florida Legal Elite as a government attorney and Leadership Tallahassee Class 28. The Legal Elite is featured in the recent July edition.

McKnight also was featured as a member of the Florida Trend’s Legal Elite in 2008 and 2009.

“I am truly grateful and humbled to be recognized by my fellow colleagues for such prestigious recognitions,” said McKnight. “By the grace of God, it is indeed an honor to have a greater opportunity to represent and serve my alma mater and the State of Florida.”

McKnight is charged with the responsibility of providing legal advice and counsel to the Board of Trustees, president and administration. A 1987 magna cum laude FAMU graduate and former SGA attorney general, he gained experience in misdemeanor prosecution at the state attorney’s office and served in various capacities in FAMU’s Office of the General Counsel between 1992 and 2005. Prior to returning as FAMU’s General Counsel in 2007, he honed his litigation skills as a senior associate with the labor and employment law firm of Allen, Norton & Blue, P.A., and successfully represented both public and private entities.

He has been recognized as a 2002 NAACP Achiever and was a Virgil Hawkins Fellow at the FSU College of Law from 1989 to 1992. McKnight currently works with several non-profit organizations including the Church of God By Faith, Big Bend Hospice, Character Center and University Center Club.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Florida A&M University Schedules One-Stop-Shop Registration

Florida A&M University (FAMU) has scheduled a One-Stop-Shop Registration for the fall semester beginning August 18 through August 20, and August 23 through August 25, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Alfred Lawson, Jr., Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium.
The purpose of the One-Stop-Shop is to improve the efficient and effective operation of the registration process by housing all of the critical areas in one facility. Students will be able to address the following registration issues in the one stop:
• Receive iRattler and e-mail access
• Have holds lifted
• Receive academic advisement
• Address financial aid and student accounts issues
• Register for classes (computer access)
• Pay fees using credit or debit cards
• Submit health immunization forms
Free parking will be available for students in Bragg Memorial Stadium. Food will also be available for purchase. For more information, call (850) 599-3276.

FAMU will Streamline the Book-Buying Process

Ordering the right books for courses just got a whole lot easier!

A new era of simplicity and convenience has arrived! Florida A&M University and Barnes & Noble College Booksellers have partnered to offer a feature that allows students to order their textbooks at the same time they register for classes by linking the school’s course registration website (iRattler) to the bookstore’s website. This innovative service eliminates the need to search for books one course at a time and provides students with the assurance that they are purchasing the right book for the right course.

Here’s how it works… After a student registers online for classes, they can click on the “Order Textbooks” link in the student center-self service. In seconds they will see the list of the required and recommended textbooks for their courses. Students can decide which books they want to purchase and if they want new, used or digital editions. Approximately two weeks before the start of classes, the books will be shipped to the location specified in the order (delivery charges apply) or, if preferred, they will be boxed up and waiting at the bookstore.

For more information about using this service, please contact the FAMU Bookstore at (850) 599-3070.

About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller and a Fortune 500 company, operates 774 bookstores in 50 states. Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC, ( a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, also operates 624 college bookstores serving nearly 4 million students and over 250,000 faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States. Barnes & Noble is the nation’s top bookseller brand for the sixth year in a row, as determined by a combination of the brand’s performance on familiarity, quality, and purchase intent; the top bookseller in quality for the second year in a row and the number two retailer in trust, according to the EquiTrend® Brand Study by Harris Interactive®. Barnes & Noble conducts its online business through Barnes & (, one of the Web’s largest e-commerce sites, which also features hundreds of thousands of titles in its eBookstore ( Customers can buy and read eBooks on a wide range of platforms, including the iPhone and iPod touch, BlackBerry® smartphones, as well as most Windows® and Mac® laptops or full-sized desktop computers.

General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company’s corporate website:

FAMU Initiates New Intro to Music Recording Course

Florida A&M University (FAMU) will offer the fundamentals of audio production, vocal recording and video blending techniques starting Monday, August 23 through October 8 in the newly offered course, Intro to Music Recording.

Sponsored by the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication and the Division of Continuing Education, the eight-week course offers two sections from noon to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The course is open to FAMU students, staff and the general public. The course rates are $300 for FAMU students and staff, and $350 for the general public.

Individuals who register for the course will receive studio time as well as a tutorial on the operation of industry standard equipment.

The deadline to register is August 20. For more information, call the Division of Continuing Education at (850) 599-3474 or visit

FAMU to Host First National Goat Conference

Goat meat production is recognized as one of the fastest growing areas of the livestock industry in the United States today. Over the past 10 years, an increase in the diverse ethnic population has caused a greater demand for goat meat. The problem with meeting the demand for goat meat is largely due to the need for proper training to help producers acquire greater skill in utilizing innovative technology and research-based information necessary to operate a profitable farm of livestock enterprise.

Florida A&M University (FAMU), an 1890 land-grant institution, has accepted the challenge to provide solutions for goat producers by hosting a National Goat Conference to address critical issues related to the goat industry on September 12-15, 2010, at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center in Tallahassee, Florida.

The first of its kind hosted by an educational institution, the inaugural National Goat Conference will provide a multi-faceted forum for goat producers, students, educators, researchers, industry professionals and organizations to come together and address key issues related to supporting and maintaining the rapid growing goat industry. The theme for the conference is “Strengthening the Goat Industry.” The keynote speaker during the four-day event will be David G. Pugh, DVM, veterinarian, and internationally recognized expert. Pugh is the author of a book entitled Sheep and Goat Medicine.

Approximately 600 participants from across the country are expected to attend this significant outreach activity. The conference will include a full spectrum of informative presentations designed to enhance the viability of the goat industry. Focus will be on topics such as nutrition and pasture management, herd health and management, marketing and processing, reproduction and biotechnology, genetics and breeding, food science and safety, and technology transfer. There will also be a session on sheep production and management.

Ray Mobley, D.V.M., conference co-chairperson and director of the FAMU Cooperative Extension Program, said, “We are proud to host this unique conference that focuses on a national agenda designed to promote both profitability to farmers and opportunities for students interested in pursuing a career in animal science and veterinary medicine.”

Sponsors for the conference include the following: the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program; Association of Extension Administrators (AEA); the University of Florida; Risk Management Agency/USDA and Farm Credit.

The FAMU Cooperative Extension Program is working closely with partnering agencies, institutions and organizations to include: Alabama A&M University, Alcorn State University, Auburn University, Delaware State University, the Florida Department of Agriculture (FDACS), the Florida Meat Goat Association, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Langston University, Lincoln University, the Meat Sheep Alliance of Florida, North Carolina A&T University, the Southeastern Small Farmers’ Network, South Carolina State University, Southern University, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, the University of Florida and Virginia State University.

Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to participate in the conference by submitting abstracts and poster presentations related to broad STEM categories including: food science and safety; genetics and breeding; herd health management; marketing and processing; nutrition and pasture management; parasite control and innovations; reproduction and biotechnology; and sheep production and management. Exhibitors and vendors are also encouraged to register for this event.

Online registration is currently open at Information about the conference including registration categories and fees, hotel accommodations and vendor information are available on the site. For specific details about the National Goat Conference, contact the following persons:

* Joy Dixon, conference coordinator, at (850) 875-8555 or by email at;
* Angela McKenzie Jakes, conference co-chairperson/program leader, Small Ruminant Program at FAMU; (850) 875-8557 or by email at; or
* Ray Mobley, conference co-chairperson and associate administrator for Extension at FAMU, at (850 599-3546 or by email at

Friday, August 6, 2010

Environmental Sciences Student Viniece Jennings to participate in Leadership Program in Switzerland

Florida A&M University (FAMU) Environmental Sciences Institute doctoral candidate Viniece Jennings was selected to participate in the Youth Encounter to Sustainability (YES) course in Switzerland.

The program has operated since 2000 in different parts of the world with the goal to bring together a diverse group of motivated future leaders for learning, discussing and debating urgent questions of a sustainable future.

“I am very honored to participate in this exceptional learning experience,” said Jennings. “I look forward to developing my perspective on sustainability, my research, teaching strategies, and other skills that will enhance my overall development.”

The competitive course is for students from different parts of the world and different fields of study. An international team of distinguished faculty and facilitators help guide the participants through living together in a remote campus. Participants will be offered lectures, workshops, field experiences and the opportunity to work together as a team on solutions and multidisciplinary action plans.

Previous participants have represented American institutions such as Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California-Davis, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Hawaii. Students, who complete the initial course, are eligible for special courses of interest across the world. They are also part of a vibrant network that promotes sustainability, service and social justice worldwide.

“Learning about sustainability from a different worldview would enable me to embrace diverse strategies to achieve a similar goal,” said Jennings. “To participate in this consortium is not only an opportunity but also a mission to greater knowledge. I look forward to sharing the insight with FAMU and the society at large.”

Jennings is also an appointee on President James H. Ammons’ Environmental and Sustainability Council. Her graduate research project investigates the role of urban green spaces as a human health indicator.

FAMU Unifies Constituents During College Colors Day

From alumni to current and prospective students to working professionals and retirees across the nation, Florida A&M University (FAMU) charges all constituents to participate in the celebration of College Colors Day on Thursday, September 2 and Friday, September 3. Individuals can wear their favorite orange and green attire or Rattler paraphernalia and show their pride during this national celebration.

College Colors Day is an annual dress celebration that coincides with back to school and the kick-off of college football season. The Collegiate Licensing Company organizes College Colors Day to encourage fans, alumni and students to wear their favorite college apparel.

Participating individuals can submit individual or group photographs showcasing their Rattler spirit to

FAMU will highlight and upload unique and exciting photographs submitted from across the country onto the university’s social media outlets and “Snake Eye,” FAMU’s online photo gallery.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

FAMU President Appoints William Hudson, Jr. as Interim Vice President for Student Affairs

Florida A&M University (FAMU) President James H. Ammons has appointed William Hudson, Jr. as acting vice president for Student Affairs until a permanent vice president is named. Hudson also is chairing the search for that position.

“ I am confident that Dr. Hudson will provide strong leadership for the Division of Student Affairs during this transition period,” said Ammons. “He has the experience and the background in higher education to help us maintain a level of excellence.”

Hudson has extensive experience counseling students with academic, personal, and career issues. He is a specialist in the recruitment and retention of minority students and provides consulting to small colleges and universities. As an adjunct professor at FAMU, he educates students on rehabilitation, disability, vocational training and services, community transition, and empowerment.

He is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (C.R.C.), and a member of the American College Counseling Association, National Association of Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and Florida Association Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (FAEOP), among other professional organizations.

Hudson is a native Floridian and FAMU graduate. He received his B.S. degree in psychology and master’s degree in counseling education from FAMU. He went on to earn a specialist degree in counseling and human services and a Ph.D. in rehabilitation counseling from Florida State University.

Mayor John Marks Will Deliver Keynote Address for the Summer Commencement

The Honorable John Marks, III, Mayor of the City of Tallahassee, will serve as the keynote speaker for Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) 2010 summer commencement. The ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, August 6 in the Alfred Lawson, Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium.

Graduates are to arrive at the assembly area, Bragg Stadium, at 4:30 p.m.; the line of march will commence at 5:30 p.m. from Bragg Stadium and the doors to the Lawson Center will open at 5 p.m.

Marks practices law with his son at Marks and Marks, LLC. The firm focuses its practice on utility regulation, telecommunications and Internet law.

Marks was elected in 2003 to a four-year term as mayor and re-elected in 2006. His board affiliations include the Fringe Benefits Management Company, a privately held financial services company, the Florida League of Cities Municipal Investment Trust, the Tallahassee Economic Development Council, the Alliance for Digital Equality, the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center Authority, the Sunshine State Governmental Financing Commission and the Economic Club of Florida.

He serves on the Board of Advisors for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and is vice chairman for Communications of the U.S.C.M. Transportation and Communications Committee. In addition, Marks served as the president of the Florida League of Mayors from 2005 to 2007 and currently serves as president of the Florida League of Cities for the 2009-2010 term.

Marks received his bachelor’s degree in 1969 from the Florida State University (FSU) School of Business and his juris doctor degree in 1972 from the FSU College of Law.

He is married to Jane Awkard Marks, a psychotherapist, and has one son, John, IV.