NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodCollege Town


NEW VIDEO: FAMU Board of Trustees Vice Chair calls for emergency meeting after $237M gift

Posted at 4:35 PM, May 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-07 17:20:30-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida A&M University Board of Trustees Vice Chair, Deveron Gibbons is calling for an emergency meeting. ABC 27's Channing Frampton spoke with Gibbons Tuesday afternoon about the issue on camera Tuesday afternoon. Watch that video above.

The move comes after skepticism surrounding a $237 million donation made bythe Issac Batterson Family 7th Trust and CEO Gregory Gerami.

In a statement to ABC 27, Gibbons is calling for FAMU President, Larry Robinson and Chair Kristin Harper to convene a public board meeting.

“The recently announced donation would truly be transformative for Florida A&M University, an institution that is helping to shape the next generation of leaders. However, the reality is that little has been shared regarding the nature of the donation. A press announcement should be the final step in a vetting process, not the first, and significant questions remain unanswered.

“A donation of this nature requires the highest degree of transparency and inquiry, and to this point that has not occurred. As Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, I have a responsibility to safeguard the integrity of the university I cherish – but I have deep concerns that this process is moving too quickly to embrace a gift without proper scrutiny.

“I am calling on President Larry Robinson and Chair Kristin Harper to convene a public Board meeting, in the sunshine, so that the entire FAMU community can learn more details. FAMU is already the finest HBCU in the nation, and we all hope this gift bears fruit for generations to come.”
Deveron Gibbons, Florida A&M University Vice Chair

Despite skepticism, FAMU have remained confident in the validity of the donation.

The University did say they signed a non-disclosure agreement with Gerami.

We are fully aware of the skepticism that sometimes comes with such a large gift. Please know that FAMU has done its due diligence when it comes to this matter. Mr. Gerami's $237,750,000 stock transfer was received in the same manner in which we have accepted all other stocks donated to the University through the FAMU Foundation Inc."
Florida A&M University

The donation was announced during commencement on Saturday May 4.


Florida A&M University receives $237 million gift

Vice President and Athletic Director Tiffani-Dawn Sykes calls the donation a game-changer. She said, “this donation substantially elevates the way FAMU athletes show up in the competition landscape. This reflects his commitment to the overall development of our staff and student athletes. It will position us, not only to compete but to dominate every time we step on the field and on the court."

ABC 27 is requested a copy of the donation agreement through a public records request to FAMU. We're still waiting to receive that agreement. An emergency meeting date has not yet been set.