Well, as predicted, long-time Florida A&M University marching band director Dr. Julian White announced his retirement. The Orlando Sentinel investigative reporting team on the hazing death of FAMU drum major Robert Champion has unceasingly posted articles that indicate the University lacks institutional control. The news coverage from the Orlando Sentinel and other media outlets has been so damaging that many feel FAMU President Dr. James Ammons will not survive much longer.
Dr. White said he has been used as a scapegoat. His decision to retire after fighting so vehemently for reinstatement was due to the toll this situation is taking on his family. He plans to spend more time with his eight year-old son; write a book on band pageantry and do some consulting among other things.
It hurts to see people you know and think highly of involved in this tragedy but it is what it is and we must separate our personal feelings from the responsibility of doing what is decent and in order.
Here are just a few expressions of appreciation from musicians and former band members that Dr. White received via Facebook. It’s just so sad for him to retire under this cloud but we wish him all the best.