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Florida A&M receives historic gift of $237.75 million

Florida A&M University (FAMU) received a $237.75 million donation from the Issac Batterson 7th Family Trust and Board Chairman Gregory Gerami to support student success and athletics initiatives.Gregory Gerami

University officials at the historically black university noted that the donation is nearly twice the value of the FAMU endowment – ​​$121 million – and represents one of the largest single donations to a historically black college and university (HBCU).

This gift is breathtaking in its generosity and scope. It changes the narrative about what is possible for FAMU. I cannot thank Gregory Gerami and the Issac Batterson 7th Family Trust enough. Their names are now forever enshrined in the annals of Florida A&M University,” said FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson. “This donation will have a profound impact on our academic and athletic programs. It will significantly improve our ability to provide scholarships to students and also give us a boost in recruiting top students and recruiting and retaining top faculty.”

Gerami is the founder of Batterson Farms Corp and an advocate for sustainable agriculture and biodegradable hemp products in Texas. He overcame early adversity to become a prominent figure in the industrial hemp business and a pioneer in the production and sale of high-quality hemp seeds. Gerami's vision for the future of agriculture led to plans for the largest commercial hydroponic camp for African Americans in West Texas. He gave the keynote address at FAMU's commencement on Saturday.

“FAMU has become like a family to our trust, our company and to me,” Gerami said in a statement. “Our morals and our mission are consistent with the mission of FAMU and FAMU. It’s also about making sure we put FAMU on the path to becoming the best HBCU in this country.”

FAMU officials said Gerami and the family fund have already transferred $237,750,000 worth of shares into the FAMU Foundation account and the university now has certificates for those shares.

Anna Harden

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