FAMU Announces Hall of Famer Alum Andre Dawson as Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal

October 25, 2023
Andre Dawson closeup
Hall of Famer Andre Dawson (Credit: Devin P. Grimes)

Florida A&M University (FAMU) announced Andre Dawson, who excelled at Rattler baseball before embarking on a Hall of Famer career, will be the grand marshal for the 2023 Homecoming Parade.

The parade of more than 140 units—marching bands, dance troupes, civic groups, and elected officials, kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. The parade will follow a route, which Dawson will well remember from his days as an outfielder for the Rattlers.

Homecoming Parade

FAMU holds its annual Homecoming Parade on Saturday Oct. 28, 2023.


The parade runs from the corner of Wahnish Way and Orange Avenue, north on Wahnish Way, right on Robert and Trudie Perkins Way, and right on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, south in front of Lee Hall parade stand, through the “Set” and concludes at Osceola Street and S. MLK Jr. Blvd. 

Dawson of Miami played for legendary Head Coach Costa “Pop” Kittles as a walk on before earning a scholarship. During his time on the Tallahassee campus, from 1972 to 1975, the Rattlers registered several historic wins against the University of Miami.

During his professional playing career, Dawson, known as “The Hawk,” became one of the most feared sluggers in the Major Leagues. He is one of five players to hit at least 400 home runs and steal 300 bases mostly for the Montreal Expos and Chicago Cubs. Dawson was named National League Rookie of the Year in 1977 and National League MVP in 1987, earned eight All-Star Game appearances and eight Gold Gloves. His 438 homeruns and 314 stolen bases earned him induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.

In retirement, Dawson partners with MLB in presenting the Andre Dawson Classic, a showcase for HBCU baseball programs airing on the MLB Network.


Andre Dawson with group Devin P. Grimes

Hall of Famer Andre Dawson with Rattler Baseball Coaching staff at the Andre Dawson HBCU Classic.
(Credit: Devin P. Grimes)


Following the parade, Dawson is scheduled to have a private meeting with the reigning Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship Rattlers team.

Carmen Cummings, co-chair of the Homecoming Committee, said the Homecoming Parade is a highlight of the festivities.

“People love a parade. President Larry Robinson and student leaders have remained committed to ensuring that this wholesome family event navigates through the heart of FAMU and the southside neighborhoods. A lot of residents bring their kids and their grandchildren. They walk from the southside to the parade route,” Cummings said.  “It’s all worth it to see the faces of alumni, parents, children and community stakeholders who have supported us over the years come back to the “Hill.’”