HBCU Writers's Project
For Immediate Release
May 16, 2018
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Opal Comfort, Director of Communications and Marketing
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(BPRW) Proud graduates of FMU's Class of 2018 are committed to making a difference

Atlanta's Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was commencement speaker

(Black PR Wire) MIAMI GARDENS --  The class of 2017-2018 at Florida Memorial University, with over 300 students, family and friends, filled the Wellness Center, to capacity at 2000 seats, early Saturday morning.

Florida Memorial University Interim President Castell V. Bryant, Mayor Oliver Gilbert and commencement speaker, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, had a brief moment for a photo opportunity before the ceremony.

The second woman to hold the prestigious seat, the Honorable Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, Georgia, told the graduates that her journey through life, was difficult at times. One of her greatest challenges was when her father, who was once a well-known entertainer, succumbed to substance-abuse. The foundation of her world as a child was changed forever. But overcoming difficulties in life challenged her to be stronger, as she eventually graduated from Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University (FAMU) and went on to win the mayoral election February of this year.

“Whatever your story may be, own it. For many years, we kept our stories secret, but I’ve learned, my story is who I am,” said Mayor Bottoms.

Florida Memorial University Bachelor and Master’s graduates were all exuberant and celebrated their moment.

William Bodden, Jr., who received an MBA from FMU this morning said, “Graduating from FMU with my MBA is the most accomplished thing I’ve ever done. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are in my family, Mom, Dad, Aunts and Grandparents all went to HBCUs.”

Alexa-Kiara Matthew whose major was Social Work and minored in Physiology said “I’m from St. Croix, and my Mom graduated from an HBCU. It was important to continue the legacy. I chose FMU, because it reminds me of home. I currently intern at Community Connections for Life and after graduation I’ll get a paid position there.

Located in the City of Miami Gardens, Florida Memorial University is a private, historically Black institution offering 41 undergraduate degree programs and four master’s 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.

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