About Florida Memorial University
Florida Memorial’s history and traditions reach back to 1879. Our legacy of determination and accomplishment has made us the only historically black university in southern Florida. We are a culturally diverse institution, transforming lives and helping to create a future for people from many races, ethnicities, countries, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds. Members of the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, students, and alumni take every opportunity possible to express pride in the institution.
We are dedicated
We are a community of scholars committed to the pursuit of knowledge, truth, and the free exchange of ideas. As educators, we seek to demonstrate the importance of life-long learning, and devote ourselves to the responsibility of passing on the benefits of our own accomplishments. As students, we share a determination to fully participate and contribute to society as we fulfill our promise. Read the biographies of our faculty and students to get a feel for campus life and the Florida Memorial experience.
We are success-minded
Our graduates enjoy the sixth highest starting salaries in the state. You will find at Florida Memorial a special understanding for what it means—and what it takes—to succeed. Our students flourish with the support and encouragement of a mentoring faculty. Our small, family-like campus community inspires a “never give in” determination in our students, while providing the resources and opportunities commonly found at larger institutions.
We are service-oriented
The University was established by, and remains closely affiliated with, the Baptist Church. However, our motto, “Leadership, Character, and Service,” emphasizes Christian values. Strong moral character, mutual respect, freedom of worship, and a commitment to serve are the hallmarks of what it means to be a Florida Memorial Lion.
Florida Memorial University is the only Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in Miami, Florida. The University is the product of two institutional mergers in 1941 involving Florida Baptist Institute established by the Black Baptists of Florida in Live Oak in 1879 and the Florida Baptist Academy established in Jacksonville, Florida in 1892 by Reverend Mathew Gilbert, Reverend J. T. Brown, and Sarah Ann Blocker. Both institutions espoused industrial education, domestic arts, teacher education, agricultural, mechanical, religious training. In Jacksonville, college President Nathan White Collier recruited noted faculty, including J. Rosamund Johnson, who later assisted his brother, James Weldon Johnson in composing the Black national anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” while employed at Florida Baptist Academy. Both institutions received financial support from the Rockefeller General Education Board, Baptist organizations, the Bethany Association, and the American Home Mission Society.
In 1918, the institution relocated to St. Augustine, Florida, where it remained until 1968. From 1924 to 1940, the institution achieved numerous milestones, including construction of several new buildings and dormitories, a change of name to Florida Normal and Industrial Institute, and accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and the Florida Department of Education in 1931. The institution changed its name to Florida Memorial College in 1963, relocated to Miami, Florida in 1968, and became Florida Memorial University in March 2006, with 41 undergraduate degree programs and graduate programs in education and business administration. Florida Memorial University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the National Association of Schools of Music, and the Council on Social Work Education.