TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Gathered around the memorial built in honor of what some would call his greatest achievement, students, family and faculty paused to remember Dr. Frederick S. Humphries.
"Dr. Humphries, he was very different," said Florida A&M University SGA vice president Marcus Thomas. "He was at all of the football games, always on campus, always a force to be reckoned with."
A force that led FAMU to reinstate its college of law, to be named College of the year in 1997-1998, and to be the leading producer of Black baccalaureate degree holders. Perhaps even more important than his accolades, however, is how alumni say he left students feeling after meeting him.
"He would always make you feel like he knew you," said alum and Meek Eaton Black Archives interim director Darius Young. "He was just one of those rare individuals who really took the time out, despite his stature and status that he had in the community and at Florida A&M University to really learn more about the students and the everyday people who made FAMU great."
Humphries' great legacy of leadership is one those close to him hope the university will carry for many years to come.
"If y'all do nothing else, nothing else, understand that you have a commitment and an obligation to do everything within your power for the furtherance of FAMU," said vigil speaker Daryl Parks.
Ceremonies continue Friday with a public wake at 6 p.m.