FAMU Commencement Ceremony Celebrates Summer 2023 Graduates

August 08, 2023
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FAMU Commencement Ceremony Celebrates Summer 2023 Graduates

Nearly 500 newly minted Florida A&M University graduates, their relatives and supporters filled the Al Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium Friday evening to celebrate at the Summer 2023 Commencement.

Graduates heard from FAMU Board of Trustees Chair Kelvin Lawson, who urged them to answer the call as they push themselves to reach their potential.

“Look back on the journey that brought you here.  What moments challenged you the most, when you were asked to step outside of your familiar territory to rise to the occasion of your potential?  How have you pushed past your fear? Lawson exhorted the gathering.  “I want you to remember those moments because they emboldened you and affirmed to you that you did this, you completed this journey.  You have proven you can answer the call, and now you can continue to do so,” said Lawson during his 10-minute address. “During this journey you were stretched and challenged in ways, you never imagined.  I am sure there are several times you have said, I wasn’t sure I could get it done but I did.  This is called reaching your potential.  Where does your potential stop, only you know.”

Keynote speaker Lawson is a FAMU alum who has served on the Board of Trustees since 2011. The Gadsden County native reminded graduates of the importance of having the right work ethic.

“Challenge is what you seek.  Competitions are not always won by the biggest and strongest players.  Competitions are won by teams and individuals that spend time preparing and creating a strategy that their opponent will struggle to match,” Lawson continued. “How many times have you heard someone say, they are a good team they just got out coached.  The coach of the winning team put in the work to prepare the players like no other. Again, there is no substitute for hard work.”


Following his speech, Lawson received the Presidential Leadership Award from FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. During the two-hour long ceremony, Robinson summoned Angelette Anderson and Mark Pollard to the stage to accept a Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Engineering Degree Posthumously on behalf of their son, Marquese Anthony Pollard.

In another somber moment near the start of the two-hour ceremony, Robinson remembered André D. Green, assistant dean of Students and director of the Efferson Student Union, Activities & New Student Orientation, who passed away on Tuesday, August 1. Green worked with the University for more than 17 years. 

To watch the entire ceremony visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Rl1mWRQ2CY.