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FAMU moves graduation ceremonies to Al Lawson Center

Location change due to forecasted weather
Posted at 3:09 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 15:09:23-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida A&M University announced a change in location for its four in-person spring 2021 commencement ceremonies this weekend.

In light of this weekend’s weather forecast, the ceremonies will be held in the Al Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium.

As a result of the change, the Lawson Center vaccination site will close from 3 p.m. Friday, April 23 and will reopen at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 25. The Bragg Memorial Stadium Testing Site will be closed on Saturday, April 24.

“Florida A&M University is proud to recognize our graduates with our first in-person Commencement ceremonies in over a year,” said President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. “In anticipation of possible inclement weather, all four of our on-campus ceremonies will be held in the Al Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium. We will maintain the limited attendance requirements previously communicated to graduates due to COVID-19 protocols and congratulate them in the safest manner possible on this milestone in their lives.”

The ceremonies were originally scheduled to be held in Bragg Memorial Stadium. Nearly 1,200 students have applied for graduation.

Commencement ceremonies kick off at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 23, when former state Senator Arthenia Joyner will address graduates from the School of Allied Health Sciences, School of Environment, and the College of Education. Joyner, who received her bachelor’s and law degrees from FAMU, represented Tampa in the Florida Senate for a decade.

At 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Board of Governors Vice Chair Brian Lamb will address students graduating from the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health and the School of Business and Industry. Lamb, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Florida, is the global head of Diversity & Inclusion at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III will deliver the keynote address at the 6:30 p.m. Saturday ceremony.

Saturday evening’s ceremony will feature students from the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities. Austin, the first African American to head the Defense Department, will also officiate at the commissioning ceremony for 17 officers, members of FAMU’s largest Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) graduating class for a single semester in three decades.

At 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Board of Governors Vice Chair Brian Lamb will address students graduating from the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health and the School of Business and Industry. Lamb, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Florida, is the global head of Diversity & Inclusion at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

At 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Keith Clinkscales, a FAMU graduate and founder of The Shadow League, will address students from the College of Science and Technology, the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, the School of Architecture and Engineering Technology, the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, the College of Engineering and the School of Nursing.

FAMU College of Law graduates will be celebrated at 9 a.m. Monday, May 10 at the Frontyard at Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando.

Due to the pandemic, the ceremonies are ticketed events. Each graduating student is allowed up to four guests. Attendees are required to wear masks.

The University will continue to adhere to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Board of Governors guidelines during commencement ceremonies to ensure the health and safety of all participants.

For more information, visit the Commencement website at www.famu.edu/commencement.