Fayetteville State University presents celebrates its history at the Founders’ Day Convocation, Thursday, April 5, at 2 p.m. at J. W. Seabrook Auditorium.
“Founders’ Day is the time that we like to reflect on the men that came together and decided that providing advanced education was important for the upliftment of the black community in this area,” said YaKima Rhinehart, senior director of alumni affairs. “So it’s a time that we celebrate our founders and how they came together in 1867 to bring about an institution that has survived for 150 years.”
Rhinehart added that for some, it may not be that important, but in the age that some institutions have had to close their doors, FSU is extremely proud of that milestone.
The keynote address speaker is Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. “He is a very well-known African-American historian who has authored several books on race and diversity here in America,” said Rhinehart. “He has also come to be known here lately because of his work on tracing our ancestors through DNA or records and also having his life documented that way for the world to see on camera.”
Founders’ Day is the beginning of the wrapup of FSU’s sesquicentennial activities that the institution held this year in celebration of its 150th anniversary.
“We will visit the founders’ monuments, and it is also a time that we acknowledge alumni and alumni who have made significant contributions to the university by way of financial and philanthropic support,” said Rhinehart. “This is one of the only ways that we are able to do as much as we have and maintain that rich legacy for 150 years.”
FSU is an institution that serves many firstgeneration students. “There is something about being amongst your own that allows you to thrive, so we can prepare you for what’s to come next in the world,” said Rhinehart. “We really are proud of the fact that we are a historically black college or university, and students are able to come here and share in that rich heritage.”
“We are looking forward to seeing our community come out and share with us in this,” said Rhinehart. “This is the hometown university that is named for the city, and there is never a reason that this town should not be painted bronco blue.”
The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 910-672-1661.
Photo: Renowned scholar, historian and educator Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. will serve as guest speaker for Fayetteville State University’s 151st Founders’ Day on April 5.