HBCU Writers's Project
For Immediate Release
October 08, 2013
Contact Information

Ileejah Hutchinson
Florida A&M University Student Writer

(BPRW) Women's Impact on FAMU's History

(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – Though students walk the campus of Florida A&M University daily, they may be unaware of the influence women have had on the institution’s history.

A number of the programs, such as the School of Nursing, School of Business & Industry and the School of Allied Health have all been heavily impacted by African-American women who have either founded or re-established the program. Programs are housed in buildings named in honor of influential women, including Margaret W. Lewis-Jacqueline B. Beck Allied Health building and the Sybil C. Mobley Business building.

The Sybil C. Mobley School of Business and Industry was created in 1974 by founding Dean Sybil C. Mobley. She started her career at FAMU in 1963 when there was no business school, established an accredited program, gathered educated and experienced staff and faculty and shaped a business school that occupies more than 130,000 square feet. Her dedicated service spanned 40 years.

“She put SBI on the map alongside Yale, University of Chicago, and University of North Carolina,” said Associate Professor Clyde Ashley Ph.D., who worked in the business school with Mobley. “Harvard has been around since 1637 and according to corporate America, FAMU’s business school is equal to theirs.”

The FAMU Nursing School, established in 1904, became the first bachelor’s nursing degree program in the state of Florida. Under the leadership of now retired Dean Margaret W. Lewis, a master’s of Science in Nursing degree was implemented into the program.

Ruena T. Norman Ph.D., a professor in the School of Nursing, says that the school and its leadership strive to continue the legacy that Lewis established. “We are always striving for excellence with our practitioners; that was her focus. She set the bar and standard that we continue to strive for today to be well respected,” Norman said.

FAMU continues to celebrate women. In March, the psychology department held an event in conjunction with National Women’s History Month to honor women who have influenced history. Huberta Jackson-Lowman, a FAMU associate psychology professor, who headed the celebration said it is important to highlight African-American women who are not heavily covered in the news.

“The countrywide celebration of women’s history is relatively new,” Jackson-Lowman said. “On top of that, very little attention is given to women of African descent. We must give young people other role models to model themselves after than the ones popularized in the media.”

The School of Business and Industry and the School of Allied Health are accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, but SBI celebrated another accreditation from the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Program on April 24, 2013.

This was a historic milestone for the school and the university, Ashley says.

“Because of Dr. Mobley, the FAMU School of Business and Industry is the Marine Corps of business schools,” Ashley said. “And Marine Corps mean the best.”

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