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Florida Memorial University
Established 1879
Type Private, HBCU
Religious affiliation American Baptist Churches USA
Endowment $9.4 million
President Sandra T. Thompson
Students 1,807[1]
Location Miami Gardens, Florida,
United States
Campus Urban, 44 acres
Former names Florida Baptist Institute
Florida Baptist Academy
Florida Normal and Industrial Institute
Florida Normal and Industrial Memorial College
Florida Memorial College
Sports Basketball
Cross Country
Track & Field
Colors Royal Blue & Orange
Nickname Lion
Athletics NAIA
Affiliations Florida Sun Conference

Florida Memorial University is a private coeducational four-year university in Miami Gardens, Florida. One of the 39 member institutions of the United Negro College Fund, and a historically Black, Baptist-related institution which is ranked second in the Florida and ninth in the United States for graduating African-American teachers. [2]



One of the oldest academic centers in Florida, the university was founded in 1879 as the Florida Baptist Institute in Live Oak, 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. The name was later changed to Florida Normal and Industrial Institute. It was there that two brothers, James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson (faculty member), wrote the words and music to "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" (known as the "Negro National Anthem"), in 1900.

Florida Normal and Industrial Institute moved to St. Augustine in 1918 on part of a 110-acre (0.45 km2) tract of land known as "Old Homes Plantation", formerly one of the largest slave plantations in Florida. In 1941, the Live Oak and St. Augustine institutions merged, changing their limited offerings from a junior college classification to a four-year liberal arts institution 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 acre site.

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.


Florida Memorial University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (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.

Student activities



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, affiliated with National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Prior to entering the NAIA, the university participated in the Southeast Athletic Conference (SEAC).

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference
Barrington Irving, Jr. In 2007 became the first and youngest African-American pilot to fly solo around the world [3]
Freddie Lee Peterkin aka Freddie Lee Soul and Gospel singer


External links

See also


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