In 1953, under the direction of President Dr. George W. Gore, Florida A&M College gained its university status. Even more important, the school achieved a significant first by becoming the first Negro institution to become a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

With the intention of serving the underserved and underprivileged black community in Florida, Thomas Gibb’s first class of 15 students and two teachers flourished into what is now Florida A&M University, with nearly 11,000 students representing 70 different countries. Impressive individuals like directors Will Packer and Rob Hardy, actress Anika Noni Rose, Keith Clinkscales of Vibe Magazine, Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr., sports reporter Pam Oliver, Olympic gold medalist Robert “Bullet Bob” Hayes, actress T’Keyah “Crystal” Keymah and Oscar Joyner of Reach Media, Inc. are all Rattlers of Florida A&M University.

Little Known Black History Fact: Florida A&M University  was originally published on

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