Home sweet home: FAMU’s NAA will hold its annual convention in Tallahassee

Lee Hall on FAMU's campus.
Lee Hall on FAMU's campus.

Florida A&M University’s National Alumni Association (NAA) is coming home to Tallahassee for its annual convention, which starts on Wednesday and ends Sunday.

This is the NAA's first time holding a convention in Tallahassee, and it also marks the association's first in-person gathering since 2019 due to the pandemic.

“What I wanted to do was to make my last convention as president of the National Alumni Association be in Tallahassee and home on campus,” said NAA President Col. Gregory Clark, who lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

Col. Gregory Clark, president, FAMU National Alumni Association
Col. Gregory Clark, president, FAMU National Alumni Association

This year’s convention will be the final one that Clark oversees as president, since his term ends on July 1. Clark was first elected in December 2015 and reelected for a second term in December 2018, with each term being three years long. He will be giving his final address as one of the keynote speakers at this year's convention.

“It feels good to come back to where it all started for me in the fall of 1987 when I was a freshman on campus,” Clark said.

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The newly elected NAA president is Curtis Johnson Jr., who will step into office on July 1. The other national elected officers for the upcoming term are First Vice President Artisha Polk, Second Vice President Yolanda Pinkard, Third Vice President Angela Freeman, Treasurer Angelia Williams, Financial Secretary Karla Johnson Harris, Recording Secretary Reginald Mitchell and Corresponding Secretary Morgan Culler.

This year’s convention currently has over 270 registrants, according to current First Vice President and Convention Chair James Moran, who also serves as the director of Alumni Engagement at FAMU's College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health. FAMU alumni are coming from as far as Oregon and California. The association hopes to have more participants attend as registrations continue from June 1 to June 3.

“It is definitely exciting to be back on the hill for the alumni to see many of the changes and the growth of the university,” said Moran, who became a FAMU alumnus in 1981. “It feels like a family reunion.”

The Leon County and Capital City Chapters of the alumni association will be hosting the convention at the Holiday Inn – Tallahassee East Capitol – Universities. The convention’s overflow hotel is Hilton Garden Inn Tallahassee Central.

The NAA has been assisting the university since 1901 through fundraising, recruitment, and advocacy as it has over 85 chapters across the nation. The association, which raised about $300,000 last year, is also FAMU’s largest direct-support organization.

Events during this year's convention will include informative presentations, general body sessions and social activities such as the Divine Nine Rattler Roundup on June 1, the NAA President’s Awards Luncheon on June 2, the Old Fashioned Fish Fry on June 3, the Evening Jazz Concert on June 4 and a Rattler Church Service on June 5.

Alumni will also have the chance to attend FAMU’s Board of Trustees Meeting on June 2 at FAMU's Band Rehearsal Hall.

The tentative itinerary of the convention can be found on the FAMU National Alumni Convention website at https://www.famualumniconvention.com/#itinerary.

Contact Tarah Jean at tjean@tallahassee.com or follow her on twitter @tarahjean_. 

This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: FAMU's Alumni Association comes to Tallahassee for annual convention