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Frederick Humphries

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Information about Frederick Humphries

Profile image of Frederick Humphries

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Association Chief Executive
University President

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Tan
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Near Water
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/26/1935
Birth Location:
Apalachacola, Florida

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Association Chief Executive
University President

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Tan
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Near Water
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/26/1935
Birth Location:
Apalachacola
See how Frederick Humphries is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Frederick Stephen Humphries served as president of two historically black colleges - Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee, between 1974 and 1985, and Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida, between 1985 and 2001. Humphries was born on December 26, 1935, in Apalachicola, Florida, the son of Minnie Henry Humphries and Thornton Humphries, Sr. He received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Florida A & M University in 1957, and his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 1964. Before his university presidencies, Humphries worked as associate professor at FAMU between 1964 and 1966 and then as assistant professor at the University of Minnesota between 1966 and 1967. He then returned to FAMU as professor of chemistry from 1968 to 1974. During the summers of 1967 and 1968, he was the program director of the Thirteen-College Curriculum Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This program strengthened the faculty and curriculum at the HBCUs, and was headed by Humphries until 1974.

When Humphries became president of Tennessee State University in 1974, there were two public, four-year universities in Nashville - one for blacks and one for whites. Humphries was the first Tennessee State University president to face the challenge of merging the two campuses and academic programs. He became the president of the unitary effort. As president of FAMU, Humphries worked to increase the number of Black students majoring in the sciences and engineering and entering the PhD programs. In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Humphries to a White House Advisory Committee on HBCUs. In 1997, Time magazine and the Princeton Review College Guide named FAMU ‘College of the Year’.

Following his tenure as President of FAMU, Humphries became the president and CEO of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), an advocacy organization for the HBCUs. He remained with NAFEO until 2004. FAMU trustees appointed Humphries to a five-year term as Regents Professor at FAMU’s College of Law in Orlando, Florida. Also, one of the newest buildings on the FAMU campus is the Frederick Humphries Science Research Building. There is also a building on the Tennessee State University campus bearing his name.

Humphries was married for forty-six years to the late Antoinette (McTurner) Humphries of Pittsburgh. They raised three children - Frederick Stephens, Jr., Robin Tanya, and Laurence Anthony.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Frederick Humphries' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Frederick Humphries describes his career in higher education, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Frederick Humphries describes his career in higher education, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Frederick Humphries describes his presidency of Tennessee State University
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Frederick Humphries describes his career after serving as a college president
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Frederick Humphries lists his favorites, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Frederick Humphries lists his favorites, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Frederick Humphries describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Frederick Humphries describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Frederick Humphries talks about his father's occupations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Frederick Humphries describes his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Frederick Humphries describes his mother's childhood and education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Frederick Humphries remembers his father's death
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Frederick Humphries describes his maternal family's educational background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Frederick Humphries describes his siblings' education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Frederick Humphries recalls his scholarship to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Frederick Humphries describes his early education at the Holy Family School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Frederick Humphries talks about segregation at the Holy Family School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Frederick Humphries describes the influence of his science teacher
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Frederick Humphries remembers Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Frederick Humphries talks about his college basketball career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Frederick Humphries describes his decision to attend graduate school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Frederick Humphries recalls being admitted to graduate school while serving in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Frederick Humphries describes how he met his wife
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Frederick Humphries recalls his marriage to Antoinette McTurner Humphries
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Frederick Humphries describes his three children
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Frederick Humphries describes his career after he earned his Ph.D. degree
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Frederick Humphries describes the Thirteen College Curriculum Program and the Institute for Services in Education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Frederick Humphries recalls his challenges as president of Tennessee State University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Frederick Humphries describes the case of Geier v. University of Tennessee, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Frederick Humphries describes the case of Geier v. University of Tennessee, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Frederick Humphries recalls the merger of Tennessee State University and University of Tennessee at Nashville
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Frederick Humphries recalls his presidency of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Frederick Humphries describes the Life Gets Better Scholarship program, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Frederick Humphries describes the Life Gets Better Scholarship program, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Frederick Humphries recalls recruiting Life Gets Better Scholarship students
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Frederick Humphries describes the success of the Life Gets Better Scholarship
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Frederick Humphries describes his collaboration with graduate schools at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Frederick Humphries describes the Graduate Feeder Program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Frederick Humphries remembers developing summer research opportunities
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Frederick Humphries explains his success as a university president
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Frederick Humphries reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Frederick Humphries describes his plans for the future, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Frederick Humphries describes his plans for the future, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Frederick Humphries describes his hopes and concerns for historically black colleges and universities
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Frederick Humphries describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Frederick Humphries narrates his photographs