The dean of Florida A&M University has been tapped as the next leader of South Florida’s only historically black institute of higher learning.
Henry Lewis III, one of three finalists for the post, was introduced to nearly 300 faculty, staff and students of Miami Gardens-based Florida Memorial University on Tuesday by Charles W. George, chairman of FMU’s Board of Trustees.
“I see a diamond in the rough in Florida Memorial University and I am confident that the institution can be the greatest institution it can be,” Lewis said of the Miami
Gardens institution that is home of Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, widely regarded as the national anthem for African Americans.
Lewis has served as dean and professor in the FAMU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences for the past fifteen years and once served as interim president.
He also served as dean of the Texas Southern University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences for four years and is past president of the Minority Health Professions Foundation and the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools.
Under his leadership, the two organizations secured more than $100 million in support of programs improving the quality of education and availability of health care to underserved communities.
Besides serving as former chairman of the board of the Florida Education Fund, the nation’s largest producer of African-American Ph.D.s, Lewis holds the distinction of serving as dean of the pharmacy program from which he earned a bachelor of science degree.
Lewis received a doctor of pharmacy degree from Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy in Atlanta and completed his post-doctoral studies at Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management.
FMU is a private Baptist-affiliated 130 year-old institution that offers 41 undergraduate degree programs and four graduate degree programs to a culturally diverse student body.
Barrington Irving, Jr., the first black and youngest pilot to fly solo around the world, is a graduate of the school’s aviation program.
Renee Michelle Harris may be reached at RMHarris15@Bellsouth.net.
Photo: President-Elect: Henry Lewis III