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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Florida A&M removes all mentions of Gregory Gerami donation from social media accounts

Just over a week after announcing the largest donation ever to an HBCU, Florida A&M appears to be moving on from that announcement.

A look at the university’s official social media accounts on Facebook, X, formerly known as Twitter, and Instagram show that FAMU has removed all references to the $237 million stock-only gift given by Gregory Gerami of the Isaac Batterson 7th Family Trust, just two days ahead of an emergency board of trustees meeting regarding the controversy surrounding it.

Photo: Florida A&M University/Twitter


famu facebook
Photo: Florida A&M University/Facebook

The Florida A&M Foundation held an emergency meeting Thursday in which university president Larry Robinson announced to the organization’s board that the gift was on hold as more research was being conducted on Gerami, who previously attempted to donate money to several other institutions. Still, his advances were rebuffed by each school.

“This meeting is taking place because none of us, as I’m aware from this conversation, had any clue that this going on,” FAMU Foundation board member Chekesha Kidd said. “We’re talking about a transformational, largest donation in HBCU history done on stage with a big check with press involved and a big PR campaign pushed after the fact. If that doesn’t signal that we need to take a step back and get our own house in order, I don’t know what does.”

During the Zoom call, Robinson said that officials decided to “put a pause” on the donation.

“It’s in our best interest to put that on hold,” he said.

Photo: Florida A&M University/Facebook

After an article from Jerell Blakely of Education News Flash was published questioning whether Gerami was a legitimate billionaire, more information began to surface about the gift, which was expected to accrue over 10 years and provide Florida A&M with vast resources for several campus entities, including athletics.

The Florida A&M board of trustees has called an emergency meeting for Wednesday at 3 p.m. That meeting is open to the public.

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