Florida A&M Launches Investigation Into $237 Million ‘Gift’ Deemed Hoax

Photo: Getty Images

Florida A&M University officials have launched an investigation into a $237 million donation that was seemingly fraudulent, The Root reports.

The investigation comes after FAMU announced earlier this month that it had received a $237 million gift from Batterson Farms Corp. CEO Gregory Gerami.

The historic donation was placed on hold and ultimately “ceased” after questions of the transaction’s validity arose. Amid the controversy, Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Florida A&M University’s vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the FAMU Foundation, resigned from her position. Friday-Stroud and other FAMU officials reportedly accepted Gerami’s large donation before informing other stakeholders of the school, including members of the FAMU Foundation Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees.

FAMU president Larry Robinson apologized for not properly vetting the donation. The donor was previously recognized as a keynote speaker at a graduation ceremony.

“I wanted it to be real and ignored the warning signs along the way,” Robinson told the board. “The public announcement at commencement was premature at best, and I apologize to all who witnessed it and shared their joy and jubilation. It is my belief that with the guidance of this board, we will arrive at a process much more transparent when it comes to such large gifts in the future.”

Board of Trustees Chair Kristin Harper expressed criticism over the handling of the “gift.”

“I should have never been put on the spot or used for a convenient photo or video op for a gift that I knew nothing about,” Harper said.

“I fully support your decision to cease this transaction,” she told Robinson. “I only wish the decision would have been made during the six months spent on developing the gift and before a public announcement would have been made that could tarnish the reputation of this university.”

FAMU’s Board of Trustees launched an investigation into the incident to determine what happened during the process of accepting the donation.

The Black Information Network is your source for Black News! Get the latest news 24/7 on The Black Information Network. Listen now on the iHeartRadio app or click HERE to tune in live.

About Post Author


From the Web

Skip to content