By Andrew Skerritt
Florida A&M University (FAMU) Homecoming 2023 reached a fitting finale with the Rattlers clinching the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) East Division following its 45-7 victory over Prairie View A&M University on Saturday, Oct. 28.
Most of the sell-out Bragg Memorial Stadium crowd were in a festive mood as the new scoreboard flashed the championship news. With the win, FAMU will play in the SWAC Champion game against the SWAC West Division champions on December 2.
The win marked the culmination of eight days of festivities that began with the drive-in movie on Saturday, November 21, followed by the Gospel Brunch and Royal Court Coronation on Sunday, Nov. 22. This year also featured Market Monday, the Housing Step Show, the Comedy Show, Homecoming Concert and Greek Step Show.
FAMU Homecoming 2023 was more than a celebration. However, the annual fall ritual was also a time for companies and business leaders to strengthen their ties with the University and network with future graduates.
The Industry Cluster members met Thursday, Oct. 26 in the Grand Ballroom. In remarks to the group of company executives, FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., praised the growth of the program whose members serve as the President’s advisory group and donated $5.3 million to the University in 2022-2023. “I am tremendously pleased with the positive trajectory of the Cluster. Like the Cluster, we are ‘Boldly Striking’ and showing the nation how important what we do is in building a strong economy across many sectors,” Robinson said.
Industry Cluster Chair Cheryl Harris lauded the mutually beneficial relationship between the group and the University.
“We are all united in the quest to engage with the best of the best, and by working together we can leverage the full force of our collective commitments,” said Harris, a FAMU alum and senior vice president of Procurement, Business Diversity and Sustainable Supply Chains at the Allstate Insurance Company. Cluster members donated more than $5 million to the University in 2022-2023.
On Friday, Oct. 27, as large crowds gathered at the Will Packer Amphitheater for FAMFest, the School of Business and Industry (SBI) added 10 new names to its Big Board of companies and individuals who have contributed at least $100,000 in endowed SBI scholarships.
“We sincerely thank our alumni and career partners for investing in our current SBIans and SBIans yet unborn,” said SBI Dean Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Ph.D.
Companies added to the SBI Big Board are AbbVie, PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC), Victoria’s Secret, Crowe, Indelible Solutions, The Bit Point, KIND, Kao USA, Inc., and Cerberus Capital Management. SBI alum Arturo Nuñez, founder and chief executive officer of AIE Creative, was added to the SBI Big Board for his individual donation several hours after he delivered the keynote speech at the Homecoming Convocation.
Among the notables at a full Al Lawson Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium was Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, who served as grand marshal of the Homecoming Parade.