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Having funds available for our st an avenue for them to graduate on and be productive members of societ global economy ‘COMMITTED AND FOCUSED’

For 20 years now, FAMU’s National Alumni Association Polk County Chapter has supported the University through fundraising, including raffle and dinner sales, and an annual scholarship gala. Several years ago, the group decided to focus its efforts on creating an endowment to provide scholarships to deserving FAMU students from Polk County. Reflecting its unwavering support for the University, the group’s $100,000 scholarship endowment was completed in three years — two years earlier than the traditional five-year pledge period. “The plan was an easy sell because a high level of excitement was created about establishing an endowment on the campus in our name,” said Doris L. Hicks, chapter president. “The FAMU Polk County alumni chapter’s motto has been ‘Teamwork is the only work that works.’ From the beginning, we stayed committed and focused. We will continue to grow the endowment by putting more into it yearly.” The chapter now is focusing on investing in Save Our Students (S.O.S), a retention initiative by the National Alumni Association to support students who risk dropping out because of financial struggles. “We’ve noticed a lot of students not coming back to FAMU because they didn’t have the finances to pay off their balances,” said William Hudson Jr., Ph.D., vice president for Student Affairs. Hudson said this is particularly true between sophomore and senior years. Students have had to take out loans, while some 50 percent of the student body have had to rely on Pell Grants, he added. “This means students may have enough money from federal funds to support their tuition,” said Hudson, “but as far as their housing, their books, their meal plans and the other associated costs that go along with a college education, they may not have the funds to support that.” And without the ability to pay these fees, some students find themselves with no alternative but to pause their coursework. A WOMAN WITH A PLAN Polk County Alumni Chapter President Doris Hicks used a strategic fundrasing plan to ensure that Rattlers in the Polk County area had an opportunity to unite in creating an endowment at FAMU.

However, thanks to committed alumni, the tide is turning, Hudson said, adding that funds raised by alumni go into student accounts to help support their efforts to stay in school. “Economics are the biggest barrier for our students when it comes to their being able to graduate,” said Hudson.

14 // FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY // A&M MAGAZINE

Profile for FAMU Communications

Summer 2017 A&M Magazine  

Welcome to the summer edition of the award-winning A&M Magazine. This issue highlights alumni, students, faculty, staff, programs and partne...

Summer 2017 A&M Magazine  

Welcome to the summer edition of the award-winning A&M Magazine. This issue highlights alumni, students, faculty, staff, programs and partne...