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FLORIDA MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY READY TO CELEBRATE RICH HISTORY ACROSS THE STATE AT ST. AUGUSTINE’S A. L. LEWIS ARCHWAY PLAZA DEDICATION CEREMONY

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – Florida Memorial University (FMU), South Florida’s only historically black university, will officially dedicate the recently restored A. L. Lewis Archway Plaza during a ceremony celebrating the school’s former entryway and historic roots in St. Augustine, Florida. The event will take place July 14, 2011, 11 a.m., at the Collier-Blocker-Puryear Park in St. Augustine. A reception will follow with an opportunity to view informational kiosks chronicling the story of FMU.

“Florida Memorial University has a prosperous and inspiring history,” said Dr. Henry Lewis, III, president of the university. “The vision of our former presidents led to establishing St. Augustine’s first college and shapes a legacy of educational excellence we still honor today. We are building upon that legacy and transforming it from good to great.”

FMU traces its origins to 1879 and is the product of two institutional mergers combining Florida Baptist Institute in Live Oak, Florida, and Florida Baptist Academy, founded 1892 in Jacksonville, Florida.  Both institutions served former slaves and their descendants, with curriculums focused on industrial education, domestic arts, teacher education, and agricultural, mechanical and religious training. In 1918, the institution relocated to St. Augustine, after which the name changed to Florida Memorial College and the school achieved accreditation.

The archway, built by students in the 1930s, served as the entrance to campus until 1968 when the school moved to Miami, Florida.  With the addition of graduate degree programs in education and business, the school was renamed Florida Memorial University in 2006.  The dedication launches the school’s redevelopment of the hundreds of acres surrounding the archway, which FMU still owns.

For more information on the A. L. Lewis Archway Plaza Dedication Ceremony, or to confirm your attendance, contact Ms. Janell Blake, in the Office of Institutional Advancement at (305) 626-3609.

 

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