FMU celebrates 50 years of academic excellence in South Florida
Founded as Florida Baptist Institute in Live Oak by members of Bethlehem Baptist Association to educate ministers and children. Reverend J.L.A. Fish becomes school’s first president.
Dr. Jaffus Hardrick appointed 14th president of Florida Memorial University
Shots fired into main school building at the height of racial tensions School splinters when President Rev. Matthew Gilbert and J.T. Brown flee to Jacksonville and begin Florida Baptist Academy in basement of Bethel Baptist Church Classes at Florida Baptist Academy start with Sarah Ann Blocker as the main instructor
Nathan White Collier appointed president of Florida Baptist Academy, a post he held for 45 years Collier hires John Rosamond Johnson to teach music at the Academy Rosamond Johnson composes music for older brother James Weldon Johnson’s poem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” now known as the Negro National Anthem.
1901-1941 Florida Baptist Academy and Florida Institute continue to operate independently of each other The demands of growth and expansion
The School begins its third incarnation at its new home in St. Augustine on September 24.
The Baptist General State Convention votes to merge its two schools. The Florida Institute at Live Oak is closed and combined with Florida Baptist Academy to form what became Florida Normal Industrial and Memorial College in St. Augustine. Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston, serves as an instructor for the school during this time.
1950’s – 1960’s Students participate in the Civil Rights Movement. University adopts educational model from Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute. Students are trained for careers in education, industry, the domestic arts, agriculture, mechanics and religion.
1950’s – 1960’s FMU alum Rev. Howard Thurman is recognized in 1952 by Life Magazine as one of the twelve most influential religious leaders in the country