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FAMU Pauses Process for $237.75M Gift

Florida A&M University has paused moving forward with the $237.75 million donation in support of student success initiatives and athletics.

Dr. Larry RobinsonDr. Larry RobinsonPresident Dr. Larry Robinson announced the decision at an emergency meeting Thursday of FAMU’s fundraising foundation. Board members expressed grave reservations about the donation, which drew national attention as one of the largest ever for one of the country’s historically Black colleges and universities.

Officials at FAMU announced the pause during an emergency meeting May 9, after members of the university’s board of trustees expressed reservations. FAMU Board of Trustees Vice Chair Deveron Gibbons asked board chair Kristin Harper and FAMU President Larry Robinson to convene a public meeting for the university community to learn more about the $237 million gift.

“With regards to the gift and the processing of it and so forth, in terms of future processing, we’ve already decided it’s in our best interest to put that on hold,” said Robinson, during the meeting.

FAMU received the gift from the Issac Batterson 7th Family Trust and Chief Executive Officer Gregory Gerami, a Texas hemp farmer and the founder of Batterson Farms Corp.

Many throughout the FAMU community expressed skepticism immediately following the announcement of the gift. University officials — who noted that the donation is nearly double the value of the $121 million FAMU Endowment — responded saying that a non-disclosure agreement prevented them from disclosing many details.

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