TALLAHASSEE — Florida A&M University (FAMU) officially swore in their first female President, Dr. Elmira L. Mangum. The historic ceremony took place in the Alfred J. Lawson Center in Tallahassee last Fri., Oct. 3.
Dr. Mangum, who previously served as vice president for Planning and Budget at the ivy league institution, Cornell University, began her tenured at FAMU in April with the motto: “It’s a new season.”
“I came to increase the opportunities at FAMU, to do what needs to be done,” Mangum said. “It’s time to say timeout to giving up, it’s time to say timeout to trading up, it’s time to begin the new season here at FAMU.”
Friends, family, students, faculty, trustees and state officials were all in attendance Friday to witness the historic event. Mary Breaux Wright, national president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., gave an electrifying speech that had ceremony guest roaring with applause.
“You never know how strong a women is until you put her in hot water,” said Wright. “Dr. Mangum is indeed a strong women, I couldn’t be anymore proud of this historic milestone she has conquered. She started at FAMU in April and has accomplished so much in so little time.”
And indeed she did, Dr. Mangum has tackled on several issues facing the university, including a $7 million deficit in athletics and the decreased enrollment issue the university has been dealing with over the past few years.
“She came at a very critical and needing time,” said Jarrett Johnson. “Enrollment is at a low that we haven’t seen in years and when enrollment drops so does funding.”
The ceremony was followed by a reception at Gaither Gym on the University’s campus. And the day ultimately concluded with an inauguration scholarship gala, which featured R&B singer Brian McKnight.