Florida Memorial University
Florida Memorial University is a private coeducational four-year university in Miami Gardens
Miami Gardens, Florida
Miami Gardens is a Miami suburban city located in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The city name comes from one of the major roadways through the area, Miami Gardens Drive. According to the 2010 U.S...

, Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

. One of the 39 member institutions of the United Negro College Fund
United Negro College Fund
The United Negro College Fund is an American philanthropic organization that fundraises college tuition money for black students and general scholarship funds for 39 private historically black colleges and universities. The UNCF was incorporated on April 25, 1944 by Frederick D. Patterson , Mary...

, and a historically Black
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Historically black colleges and universities are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before 1964 with the intention of serving the black community....

, Baptist-related institution which is ranked second in Florida and ninth in the United States for graduating African-American teachers.


One of the oldest academic centers in Florida, the university was founded in 1879 as the Florida Baptist Institute in Live Oak
Live Oak, Florida
Live Oak is a city in Suwannee County, Florida. The city is the county seat of Suwannee County and is located east of Tallahassee, Florida. The population was 6,480 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 6,828 ....

, Florida. Soon after, the American Baptist Home Mission gave its full support and the first regular school year began in 1880.

In 1882, the Florida Baptist Academy was established in Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Florida in terms of both population and land area, and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. It is the county seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968...

. The name was later changed to Florida Normal and Industrial Institute. It was there that two brothers, James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson was an American author, politician, diplomat, critic, journalist, poet, anthologist, educator, lawyer, songwriter, and early civil rights activist. Johnson is remembered best for his leadership within the NAACP, as well as for his writing, which includes novels, poems, and...

 and J. Rosamond Johnson
J. Rosamond Johnson
John Rosamond Johnson , most often referred to as J. Rosamond Johnson, was an American composer and singer during the Harlem Renaissance. Johnson is most notable as the composer of Lift Every Voice and Sing which has come to be known in the United States as the "Black National Anthem"...

 (faculty member), wrote the words and music to "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing
Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing
"Lift Every Voice and Sing" — often called "The Negro National Hymn", "The Negro National Anthem", "The Black National Anthem", or "The African-American National Anthem"— is a song written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson and set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson in...

" (known as the "Negro National Anthem"), in 1900.

The Old Homes Plantation is where the famous bell which now sits above the Susie C. Holley Chapel was purchased. The bell was originally used to gather slaves to issue daily orders. This bell was cast at the same foundry as the Liberty Bell
Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American Independence, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Formerly placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House , the bell was commissioned from the London firm of Lester and Pack in 1752, and was cast with the lettering "Proclaim LIBERTY...

, which is enshrined in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...

Florida Normal and Industrial Institute moved to St. Augustine
St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is a city in the northeast section of Florida and the county seat of St. Johns County, Florida, United States. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, it is the oldest continuously occupied European-established city and port in the continental United...

 in 1918 on part of a 110 acre (0.4451546 km²) tract of land known as "Old Homes Plantation", formerly one of the largest slave
History of slavery in the United States
Slavery in the United States was a form of slave labor which existed as a legal institution in North America for more than a century before the founding of the United States in 1776, and continued mostly in the South until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in...

 plantations in Florida. In 1941, the Live Oak and St. Augustine institutions merged, changing their limited offerings from a junior college
Junior college
The term junior college refers to different educational institutions in different countries.-India:In India, most states provide schooling through 12th grade...

 classification to a four-year liberal arts institution
Liberal arts college
A liberal arts college is one with a primary emphasis on undergraduate study in the liberal arts and sciences.Students in the liberal arts generally major in a particular discipline while receiving exposure to a wide range of academic subjects, including sciences as well as the traditional...

 which graduated its first four-year class in 1945. Its name was changed in 1950 to Florida Normal and Industrial Memorial College. In 1963, the charter was again amended to change the name to Florida Memorial College. In 1968, the college relocated to its present site in Northwest Miami and by 1972 graduated its first class at the Miami site. Florida Memorial College celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1979 and began a series of expansion projects on the 44 acres (178,061.8 m²) site.

The university hosts an annual jazz festival, named in honor of professor and trumpeter, Melton Mustafa.
In 1993 Dr. Albert E. Smith was appointed as the college's tenth president, heralding another period of growth in the institution's rich history. In December 2004, the institution's name was changed to Florida Memorial University with the announcement being made at the Founders' Convocation in March 2005. On July 3, 2006, Dr. Karl S. Wright became the eleventh president. In 2006, Florida Memorial College changed its name to Florida Memorial University.

On November 9, 2010, Henry Lewis III, a former dean and professor of pharmacy at Florida A&M University
Florida A&M University
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, commonly known as Florida A&M or FAMU, is a historically black university located in Tallahassee, Florida, United States, the state capital, and is one of eleven member institutions of the State University System of Florida...

, was named the university's twelfth president.

In May 2011, President Henry Lewis III, announced its future plans for FMU which included forty objectives he hopes to accomplish by 2020. He plans on increasing the student population from 2,000 to 3,500, build 360 dorms on-campus as well as more classroom buildings, and improved education quality. A new wellness center is also expected to start construction in 2014.


Florida Memorial University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is one of the six regional accreditation organizations recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation...

 (SACS). It offers 41 undergraduate degree programs and 4 graduate degree programs through its eight academic divisions in six academic schools. The business programs are accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs. The social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The Music Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

The university has offered an honors program for 10 years that is designed to target and challenge students to their highest level. The Honors Program Director is Dr. Randy R. James.


style="font-size: 1.25em;" |Athletic Championships
NAIA National Championships
Men's Track – 400 m Hurdles 1988
Men's Track – 100 m Dash 1999
Women's Track – 200m 2001
Women's Track – 4x100m 2001
Women's Track – 4x400m 2001
Men's Track – High Jump 2001
SEAC Conference Championships
Men's Basketball 1972-73
Men's Basketball 1973-74
Men's Basketball 1976-77
Men's Basketball 1977-78
Men's Basketball 1978-79
Men's Basketball 1980-81
Men's Basketball 1981-82
Men's Basketball 1982-83
Men's Basketball 1991-92
Florida Sun Conference Championships
Women's Basketball 1991-92
Women's Basketball 1992-93
Women's Basketball 1993-94
Women's Basketball 1996-97
Women's Basketball 1997-98
Women's Basketball 2000-01
Florida Memorial University's sports teams compete in the Florida Sun Conference
Florida Sun Conference
The Sun Conference is a college athletic conference affiliated with the NAIA. Member institutions are located in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina...

, affiliated with National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics is an athletic association that organizes college and university-level athletic programs. Membership in the NAIA consists of smaller colleges and universities across the United States. The NAIA allows colleges and universities outside the USA...

. Prior to entering the NAIA, the university participated in the Southeast Athletic Conference (SEAC).

Notable alumni

See also

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