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Friday, June 14, 2024

Florida A&M University receives near quarter billion dollar donation

Florida A&M’s resources received a historical boost Saturday with a gift from a groundbreaking farming organization.

The Issac Batterson 7th Family trust and their CEO, Gregory Gerami, bestowed a $237.75 million award to FAMU’s Foundation, more than double the university’s total endowment of 121 million. It is also the largest single donation to an HBCU ever.

“This gift is breathtaking in its generosity and its scope. It changes the narrative about what is possible for FAMU. I cannot thank Gregory Gerami and the Issac Batterson 7th Family Trust enough. Their names are now etched into the annals of Florida A&M University in perpetuity,” FAMU president Larry Robinson said in a university news release. “This donation will have a far-reaching impact on our academic and athletics programs. It will greatly enhance our ability to provide scholarships for students and also give us a boost in recruiting top students, and recruiting and retaining top faculty.”

“FAMU has become like a family to our Trust, our company and to me. Our morals and our mission are in line with FAMU and FAMU’s mission,” Gerami said during an announcement at one of Florida A&M’s three commencement ceremonies Saturday. “It’s also about making sure that we set FAMU on the path to being the top HBCU in this country.”

Gerami founded Batterson Farms Corporation, an entity well-known for sustainable agricultural and bio-degradable hemp products in Texas.

The gift will benefit the university’s Center for Disability Access and Resources and the athletic program.

FAMU AD Tiffani-Dawn Sykes said, “This donation substantially elevates the way FAMU athletes show up in the competition landscape. This reflects his committment to the overall development of our staff and student athletes. It will position us not only to compete but to dominate every time we step on the field and on the court. This gift is absolutely a game changer for FAMU Athletics. It will transform the way we are able to recruit; it will transform the way we are develop and support our athletes.”

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