It has been nearly four years since Florida A&M University’s last full-term president but today the university trustees announced, after a 10-2 vote, that they selected Elmira Mangum to be president of the 126-year old institution. This is welcome news because the university has gone through hard times over the last four years. From the death of drum major Robert Champion and the resignation of then president James Ammons to the drop in enrollment and financial troubles, Mangum’s leadership could help right the ship. Mangum is also the first woman to be installed as president at the institution. She comes to FAMU fresh off a vice president for planning and budget position at Cornell University where she helped the university out of a structural deficit during the economic downturn. She has over 28 years of experience at several institutions of higher learning which, many hope, will serve her well as she steps into her position leading the school situated on the highest of seven hills in Tallahassee, Florida.
I stand with many FAMU alumni in hoping and praying that her installation will lead to our institution shining brighter than it ever has. Here’s to a new and fruitful season for one of the nation’s top historically black universities and here’s to its new president, Elmira Mangum, PhD. Please keep Dr. Mangum and the school in your prayers and good thoughts and they transition forward.