FAMU To Unveil Plaque to Honor 57 Original Law School Graduates

August 24, 2022
FAMU College of Law
FAMU To Unveil Plaque to Honor 57 Original Law School Graduates

Rattlers for Justice Day 

ORLANDO, Fla – Florida A&M University will unveil a plaque honoring the 57 original College of Law graduates at 2 p.m. Friday, September 9, 2022.  

The unveiling will take place on the north end of the Coleman Library building on the Tallahassee campus, home of the original law school, which operated from 1951 until 1968. Among the graduates of the original law school are former judges, a former U.S. congressman, a former Florida Secretary of State, a former state senator, and other dignitaries. Former state Senator Arthenia Joyner is one the last surviving original graduates. 

“The FAMU College of Law’s legacy is engraved in the annals of our state and our country through the accomplishments of the initial 57 graduates of the program. They have set extraordinary examples for generations to follow, including today’s “Rattlers for Justice” and anyone motivated by service,” said President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. “This plaque will memorialize our original graduates and inspire current students to similar acts of selfless courage.”

Original Alums

This unveiling event takes place as FAMU Law celebrates its 20th anniversary in Orlando.  The plaque unveiling is part of Rattlers for Justice Day at FAMU. This is an opportunity for law school students, faculty, and staff to visit the main campus in Tallahassee and share in the rich tradition of the “Highest of Seven Hills.” 

“The original law school graduates paved the way for those who attend FAMU Law today,” said Deidré Keller, dean of FAMU Law. “We are thankful for our original alums, their accomplishments and the legacy of transformative service they established, which we endeavor to continue.” 

The story surrounding these graduates and the law school is unique. FAMU’s law school is the only one of the six HBCU law schools currently in existence that was opened, shutdown, and re-opened.

When Florida Gov. Jeb Bush signed legislation on June 14, 2000, authorizing a College of Law at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, high expectations were set for the new law school. The College’s opening in Fall of 2002 in Orlando was heralded as an opportunity to right a wrong and diversify the legal profession. The enabling legislation stated that the College would be “dedicated to providing opportunities for minorities to attain representation within the legal profession proportionate to their representation in the general population.

For more information about the FAMU College of Law, please visit law.famu.edu

List of graduates from the original Florida A&M College of Law: 

Remus Charles Edison Allen 

Jennings Henry Best 

Thomas DeLano Broadwater 

Richard Burdine 

August Fahnwula Caine 

Timothy Castell 

Gwendolyn Sawyer Cherry 

Allen Turner Clark III 

Henry Austin Collins Jr. 

Lorenza Collins 

Frederick Christopher Coward 

John D. Due Jr. 

Ed Duffee Jr. 

Ralph L. Flowers 

Rosa Hilda Foote 

Bernice Dorn Gaines 

Joseph Austin Gresham 

Horace Donald Goode Jr. 

Cornelius Wadsworth Grant 

George Ashberry Grogan Jr. 

Alcee L. Hastings 

Elbert Leroy Hatchett 

Jerry Dee Hill 

Ernest Alexander Hunter 

Charles Henry Jackson 

Benjamin D. James Jr. 

Odell Theo Johns 

Henry Edward Jones Jr. 

Kellon Langston Jones 

Arthenia Lee Joyner 

Harry S. Juster 

Howard Gore Knight 

Benjamin F. Lampkin Jr. 

Vernon Mack Lee 

William Lewin II 

William Cornelius Lewis 

Theries C. Lindsey 

Daniel D. Mangiamele 

James Wesley Matthews 

Ralph Eugene Maultsby 

Jesse James McCrary Jr. 

Darrel Alfonso McGhee 

Perker Lee Meeks 

Irving Lester Mills Jr. 

Samuel James Moncur 

Samuel Penn Nesbitt 

Bertram W. N. Perry 

Hemphill P. Pride II