FAMU mourns the loss of former president

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Frederick S. Humphries, Sr., Ph.D., below whose management Florida A&M University (FAMU) was named University of the 12 months, and who was a lifelong cheerleader and advocate for his alma mater, died Thursday, June 24, 2021, at his dwelling in Orlando, Florida. He was 85.

Dr. Humphries, a renowned scholar, charismatic, visionary, and impressive administrator and admired community servant, left a legacy that touched innumerable pupils, corporate leaders, philanthropists, and peers across the nation. President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., who came to FAMU through Dr. Humphries’ tenure, has purchased that flags on the major campus and all satellite spots be flown at fifty percent-personnel. 

“We have been knowledgeable of the unfortunate passing of Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, the eighth president of Florida A&M University. The darkish clouds have without a doubt gathered on the horizon.  Dr. Humphries is one particular of FAMU’s favored sons. He committed his lifetime to the development of better training, in particular inside the HBCU local community, and adjusted the trajectory of FAMU,” Robinson, FAMU’s 12th President, explained in a statement.  “We join the Humphries family, close friends and Rattlers around the world in celebrating a daily life focused to support and a person nicely lived.”

Dr. Humphries experienced a distinguished job in increased schooling as the eighth FAMU president and president of Tennessee State College (TSU), in Nashville. 

Together with his almost three many years of main two Traditionally Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the Apalachicola, Fla., native served on countless corporate boards, and attained an spectacular checklist of accolades and awards. 

Dr. Humphries, whose 6-foot-7 body, booming voice and easy smile, commanded interest anytime he entered a room, was a educated scientist. He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from FAMU in 1957 prior to heading on to complete a master’s and a doctorate in bodily chemistry from the College of Pittsburgh. He was the 1st African American to get hold of a Ph.D. in his self-control from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Dr. Humphries taught at the University of Minnesota before returning to his alma mater as a professor of chemistry in 1968.  While at FAMU, he was also director of the 13-College Curriculum Plan for HBCUs. He was named president of TSU in 1974.  

Dr. Humphries shepherded TSU, an HBCU, as a result of the merger with the predominantly white establishment (PWI) University of Tennessee-Nashville campus. The legal case for integration marked the to start with time an HBCU experienced productively merged and obtained a PWI in American historical past. 

“The FAMU and Tennessee State communities has dropped a excellent supporter of larger education and learning,” explained Kelvin Lawson, chairman of the FAMU Board of Trustees. “Our hearts are hefty, but our options are brighter dependent on the daily life and doors opened by Dr. Humphries. College management will be connecting with the relatives to identify how to finest honor his daily life and devotion to FAMU.” 

Dr. Humphries left TSU to realize success Walter Smith as president of FAMU in 1985. The 16 years Dr. Humphries occupied the president’s place of work suite are explained as FAMU’s golden many years.

At FAMU, Dr. Humphries was the consummate cheerleader and innovator. He established the Life Will get Better Scholarship and the Graduate Faculty Feeder Method (GSFP), which much more than doubled enrollment even though simultaneously raising educational benchmarks. He elevated the range of National Accomplishment Scholars, rating initial in the nation a few periods, surpassing Harvard College and Stanford College. He also served enhance FAMU to the nation’s No. 1 location as a producer of African People in america with baccalaureate degrees, and to No. 3 in the country as the baccalaureate establishment of origin for African American doctoral diploma recipients.

The crowning accomplishment of his tenure was FAMU’s assortment as the very first TIME Journal/Princeton Critique “College of the Year” in 1997. 

Alumnus Eddie Jackson served under Humphries as vice president for University Relations. 

“When he came to FAMU, Dr. Humphries experienced a chip on his shoulder because he was below when the University’s regulation school was shut,” Jackson explained. “He did not like the way it was performed. He was very inspired to demonstrate that, with the correct leadership and packages, FAMU could be the ideal in the place, and he meant to prove it.”

Dr. Humphries was respected internationally for his keen insights on the education of minority pupils, notably in math and the difficult sciences, and his exceptional and visionary strategies to developing productive academic results.

The well-known previous president will be permanently recognized for his inspiring, unmatched shipping of “The Rattler Charge” at FAMU or wherever Rattlers collected. Even although “The Rattler Charge” began with FAMU President George W. Gore many years earlier, while Humphries was a student, Humphries’ embellished rendition will be remembered by Rattlers everywhere you go.  He was credited with turning FAMU into just one of the nation’s premier Black colleges and the restoration of its regulation faculty, now found in Orlando.

“Dr. Humphries was a video game changer,” Jackson claimed. “He turned points upside down . . . and built FAMU one particular of the top rated universities in the nation. We were very hot things.

“He was fantastic,” Jackson said. “He was dedicated to African American college students to a degree that I experienced by no means viewed in advance of. He wanted to prove to the Board (of Regents) that FAMU could compete on the similar degree with the recruitment of prime learners any place. He was 1 of the most smart presidents” in the Florida technique.

Following his resignation, Dr. Humphries served as president and CEO of the Nationwide Association for Equal Opportunity in Larger Education and learning. In 2003, he was named a Regent Professor at the FAMU College or university of Legislation in Orlando.  

Dr. Humphries was chairman of the Board of Administrators of the Countrywide Association of Condition Universities and Land Grant Colleges, and a member of President Invoice Clinton’s White Household Advisory Committee on HBCUs. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Wal-Mart Shops, Inc. Barnett Lender (Bank of The united states), Florida, the Countrywide Merit Corporation, the Princeton Critique, Academy for Academic Improvement (AED) and a founder and board member of the Thurgood Marshall Fund.

Awards and commendations involve: the 1991 Thurgood Marshall Award for Higher Training (Sponsored by Johnson Publishing Organization), the 1993 Drum Important for Justice Award for Better Instruction (Sponsored by the Southern Christian Management Meeting – SCLC), 1997 Floridian of the 12 months (Sponsored by the Orlando Sentinel), 2001 The Trumpet Award for Instruction (Sponsored by Time Warner-Turner Broadcasting Programs) the 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to African Us citizens in Engineering (National Association of Black Engineers) and various honorary doctorate levels. 

Dr. Humphries is survived by three kids, Frederick Jr., Robin Tanya Watson, and Laurence Humphries, and 8 grandchildren. Antoinette McTurner Humphries, his wife of 46 decades, died in 2006.

Funeral arrangements will be announced when they are finalized.