Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Top FAMU Official Resigns Amid $237M Donation Calamity

FAMU 2024
Gregory Gerami presents check to FAMU / YouTube screenshot

*A high-ranking official at Florida A&M University resigned following her involvement in accepting a record-breaking donation for the institution. The gift swiftly crumbled under scrutiny, raising doubts about its true worth.

Politico reports that trustees launched an investigation into the acceptance of the gift from a Texas hemp farming executive, questioning how it was approved without their prior knowledge.

We reported earlier that Florida A&M University (FAMU) received a historic $237.75 million contribution from the Issac Batterson 7th Family Trust. Gregory Gerami, CEO of Batterson Farms Corp, presented the generous donation to FAMU during the recent commencement ceremony at the Al Lawson Center.

However, following an emergency FAMU Foundation Board meeting last week, FAMU President Larry Robinson stated that the university would pause any further action until it could assess the value of the stock options contributed by Gerami, a trustee of the Isaac Batterson Family 7th Trust.

The donation to the university has drawn praise and skepticism from FAMU staffers and alumni alike. Some expressed concern about Gerami’s background and financial history, which cast doubt on his portrayal as a wealthy hemp farmer and entrepreneur.

Gregory Gerami
Gregory Gerami and FAMU President Larry Robinson / YouTube screenshot

Shawnta Friday-Stroud, a vice president at the historically Black university, reportedly participated in all discussions with Gerami regarding the donation. However, she refrained from informing the board because a signed NDA prevented her from disclosing the specifics of the gift.

According to Politico in a May 15 report, her resignation was announced at an emergency board meeting. Numerous trustees blamed Robinson for the debacle, and he acknowledged “full responsibility” for accepting a donation.

“I saw in this unprecedented gift ways to serve our students and athletic programs in ways unimaginable at that time,” Robinson told trustees.

“I wanted it to be real and ignored the warning signs along the way,” he said. 

READ MORE FROM EURWEB.COM: FAMU Announces ‘Pause’ on $237 Million Donation | VIDEO

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