For Immediate Release
October 16, 2014
Contact Information

Sonshine Communications
Bernadette Morris
T: (305) 948-8063


- South Florida community welcomes Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis; proceeds raised will help deserving students attend the landmark HBCU institution -

(BLACK PR WIRE) – Florida Memorial University (FMU) is committed to “Lifting Ev’ry Voice and strives to keep their promise for a brighter and better future.” This theme resonated loud and clear as the community turned out in record numbers to join FMU for the Presidential Inaugural Events highlighting Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis as the University’s 13th President and first woman appointed to the position. The events, held earlier this month, have been heralded as a tremendous success.

“It was truly a magical and exceptional season of events,” said Cynthia Curry, Vice President of Finance and Chair of the Inaugural Committee. “This occasion marked a significant turning point in FMU’s rich history, and has shown the deep love and amazing talent of our University students, staff and faculty to South Florida and beyond.”

Key events held during the Presidential Inauguration included:

University Spirit Day – Students, faculty and alumni rallied together to demonstrate university spirit, pride and camaraderie.

Student Inaugural Ball – Students dressed in style to celebrate the inauguration of Dr. Roslyn Clark Arts.

Academic Symposium “Women Leading from a Global Perspective.” Session I “Human Rights: Then & Now” - Symposium featuring noted panelists including Dorothy Fields, PhD., Founder, CEO Archivist, Black Archives; Marlene Bastien, FANM founder and Executive Director; and Ana Jerome-Raja, Ed.D. Assistant Professor, Exceptional Student Education.

Academic Symposium Session II “21st Century Successful Women” – The Symposium concluded with a stellar line-up of panelists including Eve Wright, JD, Vice President, Assistant Gen Counsel, Miami Heat; Yolanda Rabun, JD, Corporate Counsel, Privacy Officer, Software and Systems Group at IB; and Magda Vives, JD , Sr. VP of Legal & Business Affairs at Universal Music Latin America.

Stiletto Stroll and Stride for Breast Cancer Awareness – FMU stepped it up in style in support of breast cancer awareness. Representatives from the Susan G. Komen Miami/Fort Lauderdale affiliate and Jackson Health System were present. Participants joined Dr. Artis in a spirited “New Orleans-styled second line” accompanied by members of the University Jazz band - led by FMU faculty and Jazz legend Melton Mustafa.

Lunch with the President – A delightful outdoor lunch was held in the breezeway outside of the Lou Rawls Center of Performing Arts following the spirited Stiletto, Stroll and Stride for Breast Cancer awareness.

Inaugural Jazz Concert – The Jazz concert was a big hit featuring national jazz recording artist Yolanda Rabun. Jazz legend and FMU faculty member Melton Mustafa was also honored. On air personality, Billy Raven, served as program host.

Legacy Tribute – Recognizing the leaders of the past.

Prayer Breakfast – Unified attendees with prayer, song and inspiration. Local and National Clergy included Rev. Wendell H. Paris, Jr. Presiding, University Chaplain, Florida Memorial University. Rev. Michael K. Bouie, Mt. Hermon AME Church; Rev. Carl Johnson, 93rd Street Community Baptist Church; Pastor Arthur Jackson, III, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church; Bishop Fred T. Simms, Heart of God Ministries, Beckley, WV; and Father Denrick Rolle, St. Agnes Episcopal Church.

Investiture Ceremony – The formal installation ceremony of Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis.

Presidential Inaugural Scholarship Gala – The culminating event which celebrated the installation of Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis and honored women who lift their voices through leadership, character and service. Women honorees included U.S. Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson, U.S. House of Representatives, District 104; Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, Member, Miami-Dade School Board, District 2; the Honorable Betty T. Ferguson, Community Builder and Activist; and Ms. Yolanda Cash Jackson, Legal Advocate.

These events were possible thanks to the generous support of the Lion’s Pride Inaugural Sponsors. FMU expresses sincere appreciation to the Lion’s Pride Premiere Presidential Sponsors - Thompson Hospitality Services, Inc. and CareerSource South Florida.

“What an uplifting event!” said Warren Thompson, President and Chairman of Thompson Hospitality, the Nation’s largest minority-owned food and facilities management company, and the University’s food service partner since 2010. “The recognition of such trailblazing women added an exhilarating highlight to the inauguration of Dr. Artis as Florida Memorial’s first female President in its proud 135-year history,” continued Thompson. “All of us at Thompson Hospitality are honored to have been a part of such a great evening, for such a great cause.”

About Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis
Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis is a visionary educator and leader. The consummate professional, she is a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she earned her Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership and Policy. She received her Juris Doctorate degree from West Virginia University College of Law in Morgantown, West Virginia, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from West Virginia State University Institute, West Virginia. A woman of many talents, Dr. Artis has extensive experience in university fundraising and holds a Certificate of Fundraising Management from Indiana University. She has also earned a Certificate of Mastery in Prior Learning Assessment from DePaul University’s School of Continuing & Professional Education.

In February 2014, Dr. Artis was appointed unanimously by the Board of Trustees as the 13th President of Florida Memorial University. She is the first woman President in the University’s 135-year history. During her short stint as Acting President at FMU, Dr. Artis provided immeasurable leadership and direction to the University family at all levels. She has become well-acclimated to the South Florida community, and has been appointed to multiple community boards and associations, increasing involvement and exposure of the University significantly. On campus, Dr. Artis has spearheaded a series of new and innovative programs for students and is diligently striving to improve corporate and community relations and endowment initiatives for the institution.

About Florida Memorial University
Located in the City of Miami Gardens, Florida Memorial University is a private, historically Black institution offering 41 undergraduate degree programs and four graduate degree programs to a culturally diverse student body. Since its inception in 1879, the University has upheld a commitment to providing a solid foundation for thousands of young people and opening doors to educational opportunities that may have otherwise been closed to them. As South Florida’s only Historically Black College or University (HBCU), it is widely recognized for being the birthplace of the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” and the home of Barrington Irving, Jr., the first and youngest pilot of African descent to fly solo around the world. Florida Memorial University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). For more information, visit