Florida Memorial University celebrated the inauguration of Dr. Jaffus Hardrick as 14th President during a formal Investiture Ceremony on Friday, March 17.
There were many special invited guests: The United States House of Representatives, The Honorable Frederica S. Wilson, 24th Congressional District of Florida; The Florida State Senate, The Honorable Shevrin D. Jones, 34th District Senator; Miami-Dade County, The Honorable Daniella Levine-Cava, Mayor; The Board of County Commissioners, The Honorable Oliver G. Gilbert, III, District 1; The Board of County Commissioners, The Honorable Keon Hardemon, District 3; The Board of County Commissioners, The Honorable Kionne McGhee, District 9; The City of Miami Gardens, Councilman Robert L. Stephens III ; United Negro College Fund, Dr. Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO.
Congresswoman Wilson, who successfully secured money from the National Defense Authorization Act for our university for the next four years after lobbying hard over the past two years, presented Dr. Hardrick with a $5,000,000 check to further advance our STEM and Aviation programs. Her unwavering determination and commitment to education will help change the lives of hundreds of students, elevate our research efforts, and produce talented graduates to meet the current and future workforce needs.
Dr. Hardrick also received a special donation of $250,000 from Thompson Hospitality, the university’s catering vendor, and more than $440,000 from the university’s dedicated sponsors. We are forever grateful for continued support to make Florida Memorial University a world-class institute of higher learning.
Also in attendance were delegates representing some of the nation’s oldest and top academic institutions: (1856) Wilberforce University, Dr. Elfred Anthony Pinkard, President; (1865) Virginia Union University, Dr. Hakim J. Lucas, President; (1869) Tougaloo College, Dr. Carmen J. Walters, President; (1870) Benedict College, Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President and CEO; (1876) Stillman College, Dr. Cynthia Warrick, President; (1887) Florida A&M University, Dr. Larry Robinson, President; (1904) Bethune-Cookman University, Dr. Lawrence M. Drake, Interim President; (1925) University of Miami, Dr. Julio Frenk, President; (1926) Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, William Muldoon Vice Chancellor & Business Development; (1940) Barry University, Dr. Scott Smith, Vice President for Mission and Student Engagement; (1961) St. Thomas University, Dr. Michelle Johnson-Garcia, Provost and Chief Academic Officer; (1964) Nova Southeastern University. Dr. George L. Hanbury, II, President and CEO; (1965) Florida International University, Dr. Kenneth A. Jessell, President; (1968) Palm Beach Atlantic University, Dr. Jonathan Grenz, Dean, School of Ministry.
The long overdue ceremony included a five-day series of events for the university community, delegates, and dignitaries to enjoy.
Some of the events during the week of this momentous occasion were the Coleman Drive Rock the Block Party; FMU’s 144th Founders’ Day Ceremony, where guest speaker Dr. Yanela G. McLeod spoke passionately about social consciousness, race relations and the African American experience; there was An Evening of Jazz on the Lawn; The Presidential Gala at the Diplomat Beach Resort; Community Worship Service; and the Bowties and Pearls Brunch, hosted by First Lady Janet Hardrick. A portion of the proceeds from the ticketed events will be donated to the Presidential Scholarship Fund.
Here are the links to images from FMU’s Inauguration Week of Events:
- Coleman Drive Rock the Block Party
- Dr. Hardrick’s Investiture
- FMU Presidential Gala
- Inauguration Community Worship Service
- Bowties and Pearls Brunch
- Video Recap of all events during Inauguration Week
Please feel free to download and share the experiences with photos from FMU’s official Flickr account.