FAMU Los Angeles Rattlers

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In Memory of Ira Peterson

Posted by Alonda Nicole on May 23, 2011 at 8:01 PM Comments comments (0)

In Loving Memory: Ira Peterson

I met Ira Peterson in the Fall of 1996 at a Young Black Scholars college fair at USC. I went over to him and expressed that I knew all about FAMU because my Brother William Maples was currently attending and that I had absolutely no interest in attending. Ira had a big smile on his face and he told me, "Oh yeah, is that right?!" He went on to tell me about how much the school has to offer both academically and socially and that he knew my brother William. He also told me I was going to attend FAMU.


This conversation went on for the next three years. I saw Ira all over Los Angeles at various college fairs and events that promoted education. He would say to me "Hey Rattler" and my ears would burn! I didn't want to go and follow my brother’s footsteps and I wanted to stay right here in California for college. Well, I want you to know Ira had his way. He never gave up on me and after attending my brother's graduation in May 1999 I applied to FAMU for the Fall 1999 semester and was admitted. I attended FAMU for 5 years studying civil engineering. Every Christmas and Summer break Ira would organize a FAMU California welcome home scholarship reception/social for current and incoming students in the Los Angeles area. I looked forward to attending those and had such a good time.


When I graduated in 2004 I moved back home and joined the FAMU Los Angeles Alumni Chapter. Guess who signed me up to work on his student recruitment committee? That’s right, Ira! It’s so funny how our paths crossed in 1996 and then almost 10 years later we were working side by side recruiting students who, just like me, didn't want to leave California. Ira had a true passion for FAMU and educating young minds. He wanted to share his passion with all the students he came in contact with. I believe he did just that. It won me over and many, many others. I enjoyed working along side him spreading the word about our alma mater. Ira was a good man and I am so proud to have been able to work with him and all him a friend.


Juresha Maples

Student Recruitment Committee



Some years ago, I recall attending the Angel City Classic at the coliseum in LA, with a few friends and I had on a FAMU T-shirt. Ira and Gerald were walking up the stairs and Ira saw my shirt and he and Gerald came over and introduced themselves to me. Not only was I elated to see fellow Rattlers, but I have been meaning to reach out to the alumni chapter once I moved there in 1996, but never got around to it. I was so happy that I was able to meet them and get information on the chapter. Every time there was a function in LA regarding recruitment or conferences involving colleges, FAMU was well represented by Ira!


Anyway, from that day on, when I would attend the meetings and activities we had, Ira was there, greeting and smiling...a very quiet gentleman. In October 2010, I relocated back to my hometown of Tallahassee, Florida, but I will never forget the people my daughter (Laila) and I had the pleasure of meeting. I truly appreciate you all for embracing us.



Amelia Davis, MBA

B.S. Business Economics, Class of 1995


I first met Ira via e-mail when I was interested in helping with the Black College Expo. In the e-mail I would say, "Mr. Peterson..." he quickly brought that to an end and told me we didn't have to make this a professional conversation. When I finally met him at the Black College Expo he gave me a hug as if we've known each other for years. I was most impressed that he remembered my name. He was so kind and loved FAMU immensely. The FAMU community has lost a very true Rattler.

Markashia Jeter

Public Relations, Class of 2010


While I did not have the pleasure of being recruited to FAMU by Ira Peterson, I am a witness of his tireless efforts to make sure the university was represented at ALL of the southern California Black College Fairs. Ira understood the importance of a higher education for today’s young people. Additionally, he wanted students to experience the rich education that is available at a historically Black university like Florida A&M University.

Ira would be the first to arrive and the last to leave. He would print hundreds of college applications and brochures to make sure our tables were informative and visually pleasing. Along with recruiting students, he was constantly recruiting FAMU alumni to spend an afternoon representing their alma mater and demonstrating what it truly means to bleed “orange and green!” Ira was a gentleman and a leader. We will truly miss his presence and his tenacious spirit for our children!

Alonda Thomas

Public Relations, Class of 2001


“A Spirit of compassion…giving from the heart,” are words that describe Ira.

Tireless warrior, who made every effort to make one feel comfortable. One conversation with Ira, and you felt instantly at home. As a member of the FAMU Alumni Association, I remember Ira’s tireless efforts to recruit students. He went to many a workshop, college fair or high school searching for the best and the brightest; and offering hope for those wondering what would be their next step.


At times there would be other alumni who would accompany him, other times Ira would go by himself because he understood the single importance of influencing and changing someone’s life.

I remember one FAMU hopeful who was the sister of a friend of mine. To my surprise, she was at the luncheon. She came on insistence from Ira to learn more about FAMU and to meet fellow alumni. Ira stood like a proud father as he introduced her as the next FAMUan.

Education and seeking the truth were important to Ira. He worked very hard to keep one informed on the world, no matter if you were an adult, or a graduating senior in high school. He always wanted to make sure that everyone played on the same playing field, and of course all were welcome. I will miss Ira and the intellectual talks, the students, and his tireless efforts. I know Ira is the exemplary FAMUan on the other side now, and will influence others in a different sense. We will Miss You, Ira. I will Miss You, Ira.

Tené Carter


March Rattler VIP Deal

Posted by Alonda Nicole on March 9, 2011 at 10:33 AM Comments comments (0)

*** Rattler VIP Program ***

The FAMU Southern California Alumni Chapter is happy to announce the Rattler VIP Program, an incentive program to thank our paid members for their financial support! Here is the first 2011 sponsored activity provided by FAMU alumnus Kevin Fleming of Amazing LA Tours!

AMAZING LA TOURS: FAMU alumni members and a guest receive $25 off one (1) of the following tours: 


Tour #1: Beverly Hills/Hollywood City Tour Tour Rodeo Drive, Sunset Strip, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and Mulholland Drive/Hollywood Sign. Rattler VIP Price: $40 pp ($65 regular)


Tour #3: Getty Center + City. Tour Tour #1 plus the Getty Center. Rattler VIP Price: $60 pp ($85 regular)


Tour #10: Celebrity Homes Exclusive. Grab your cameras and get ready to see the glamorous homes of the stars 
as we take you through Bel-Air, The Holmby Hills, Beverly Hills, and the Hollywood Hills to see over 50 movie stars homes. Rattler VIP Price: $70 pp ($95 regular. Group must have at least two people for booking.)


Deal expires May 31, 2011. To RSVP for your VIP tour, pay your 2011 FAMU alumni membership, then call 310-587-2211 or email info@amazinglatours.com. (**You must be a paid 2011 FAMU alumni member to be eligible**)

FAMU Cheerleaders Win 2011 MEAC Coed Division Championship

Posted by Alonda Nicole on March 8, 2011 at 3:24 PM Comments comments (0)

The Florida A&M Cheerleaders placed first in the co-ed division of the MEAC Cheerleading Competition at the Joel Coliseum. Head coach Brandi Tatum's squad overcame dominance in the division by North Carolina A&T, to take first place. Last season, the Rattlers finished in third place, behind the Morgan State Bears.


The MEAC cheerleading competition is one of the most highly competitive cheerleading events in the country. There are two divisions, the general division and the co-ed division, which FAMU has been in for the past four years.


"I think this year's improvement definitely came from having the tumbling mats at Gaither Gym, which allowed us to practice on the surface we were going to perform on," said Tatum. Last season, the mats weren't available and the team just practiced on the gym floor. That led to the team having to make adjustments at the actual competition.


The cheerleading squad didn't want to feel cheated. They set a goal to win it all and not suffer the disappointment they endured last season. "Our mindset was not to leave feeling cheated, we wanted to push to win first place. We were able to maximize our co-ed stunts. We wanted to show our collegiate skills, and we were successful in doing that," Tatum added.


The trip was not without its share of drama though. Co-captain Blayre Barlow, a huge part of the team, tore her ACL and was ruled out of competition by doctors on Tuesday. That didn't stop the focus of the FAMU Cheerleaders. Tatum said it was unnerving, but the team knew it had to step up. "We had to tweak things to work around not having our co-captain in just a few days before the competition, because she was a big part of the routine, and our personality," Tatum said.


The FAMU Cheerleaders will remain in Winston-Salem to cheer on the men's and women's basketball teams as they try to capture the MEAC basketball crowns.


FAMU Southern California Alumni Chapter Hosts New Text Message Fundraiser

Posted by Alonda Nicole on February 28, 2011 at 3:32 PM Comments comments (2)

LOS ANGELES – The Florida A&M University National Alumni Association (FAMU-NAA) Southern California Chapter has partnered with FAMU University Relations to host a California Text Message Fundraising Campaign to raise scholarship dollars for California students.


“The University has experienced tremendous success through our text messaging campaigns at homecoming and sporting events,” said Carla Willis, VP, University Relations, FAMU. “We are pleased to extend this program to the Southern California Alumni Chapter as a way to increase giving.”


To make a $10 donation, text ORANGE to 50555. The color orange is one of FAMU’s primary school colors. The chapter will encourage supporters to text a donation on the first of the month, every month until the goal of $10,000 is reached. Updates on funds raised will be posted on the Chapter’s website at www.larattlers.org.


“We are thrilled to become the first alumni chapter to try this approach for raising funds for FAMU,” said Alonda Thomas, campaign chair. “Donations through mobile devices are a convenient way to support our alma mater any time and anywhere. We encourage all Rattlers who ‘bleed Orange and Green’ to text the word Orange and support a needy student at FAMU.”


The donation keyword is now active and ready to receive mobile donations. The campaign was officially announced at the chapter’s 17th Annual Black History Scholarship Luncheon. Special guests in attendance included FAMU President James H. Ammons, FAMU-NAA First Vice President Gregory L. Clark and Actress and FAMU graduate T’Keyah Crystal Keymah.


“There are more than 600 FAMUans living in California,” said Monique Brackett, president, FAMU-NAA Southern California Chapter. “If 200 Rattlers and FAMU supporters would pledge to donate $10 a month for five months, we’ll reach our goal.”


California high school students and enrolled FAMU college students from California will be able to apply for these scholarship funds through the chapter’s annual scholarship application, available upon request at famusocal@gmail.com.


For more information on the text messaging campaign, please contact campaign chair Alonda Thomas at alondathomas1@aol.com. When you text ORANGE to 50555, $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill/deducted from your prepaid account. Message and Data Rates may apply. Full terms: mGive.org/t.Privacy_Policy.

17th Annual Black History Luncheon Scheduled February 26

Posted by Alonda Nicole on January 31, 2011 at 5:44 PM Comments comments (0)



Philanthropists Bernard and Shirley Kinsey to serve as speakers

Proceeds Provide Scholarships to California Students Attending FAMU


LOS ANGELES – The Florida A&M University (FAMU) National Alumni Association Southern California Chapter presents the 17th Annual Black History Scholarship Luncheon on Saturday, February 26, 2011 at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, 251 South Olive Street. Under the theme “Ratter Renaissance,” this year’s speakers are philanthropists/art patrons Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, owners of the Kinsey Collection, an extensive African American art exhibit currently on display at the Smithsonian and one of the largest African American art/historical collections in the nation. Be prepared to learn about the fascinating accomplishments and triumphs of our ancestors in building America.


The Kinseys began collecting art and historical documents years ago when they realized that their young son, Khalil, wasn’t learning enough about his history in school. Their private treasure of paintings, sculpture and artifacts from the 1600s filled the walls and halls of their home. . They soon realized that this rich cultural and historical collection must be shared with the world where it is presently at the Smithsonian American History Museum where over two million people will see the exhibition through May 1, 2011. At the luncheon, the Kinseys will present their nationally recognized program, “What you didn’t learn in High School History.”


The luncheon kicks off with a jazz mimosa hour at 11 a.m. followed by the program, hosted by NBC Channel 4 news anchor Chris Schauble. The event is a platform to recognize outstanding leaders in the African American community. This year’s Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Award honorees are Chris Floyd, executive director of the Los Angeles Opportunities Industrialization Centers and Sandra Evers-Manly, Vice President of Ethics & Diversity for Northrop Grumman. Additionally, the 2011 FAMU Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented to Antonio York II, former chapter president; and Ruth Bernadine Tucker, retired educator. The chapter has invited special guests from FAMU, including President James H. Ammons and VP, University Relations, Carla Willis.

Proceeds from the event will provide scholarships to California students attending FAMU. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased online at www.larattlers.org and available at Will Call. For more information, please contact Monique Brackett at (310) 295-4791 or moebrackett@aol.com.


About FAMU

Florida A&M University is the nation’s largest Historically Black University, graduating more African Americans than any other university in the nation. The FAMU-NAA luncheon has grown over the past 17 years to become one of the key events for Black History Month in Los Angeles. In that time, the FAMU NAA Southern California Alumni Chapter has raised more than $850,000 and provided scholarships to over 100 California students attending FAMU.

Upcoming Kinsey Collection Events

Posted by Alonda Nicole on January 13, 2011 at 2:17 PM Comments comments (0)

The FAMU SoCal Alumni Chapter is proud to share the upcoming events of members Bernard and Shirley Kinsey taking place in San Francisco and Los Angeles.


San Francisco

As many of you know, the Kinsey’s one-of-a-kind African American art collection is currently on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. For those unable to travel east, a smaller collection of artifacts will be on display in San Francisco beginning Friday, January 14th.


“African American History: From The Collection of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey” will open at the San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society in San Francisco, California. The Kinsey’s will host an opening night reception on Friday, January 14th from 6-8 pm, as well as a conversation and book signing on Saturday, January 15th from 1-3 pm. The exhibit contains selections from the full Kinsey Collection, as well as pieces that have never been publicly displayed such as the Dred Scott Decision of 1857. For more information, please visit www.sfaahcs.org.


Also, the Kinsey’s will participate in the kickoff celebration for Black History Month held at San Francisco’s City Hall on Friday, February 4th where they will deliver the keynote address.


Los Angeles

On Saturday, February 5th the Kinsey’s will host the second installment of “What You Didn’t Learn in High School History” as part of the Ebony Repertory Theatre’s “A Celebration of Black History” at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. Last year’s event was a sell out! Please visit www.ebonyrep.org to reserve your tickets.


For more information about the Kinsey Collection, please visit www.thekinseycollection.com.


CBS Evening News with Katie Couric-10/21/10



FAM-Tastic Voyage: The Official HBCU Cruise to Mexico

Posted by Alonda Nicole on December 20, 2010 at 9:06 PM Comments comments (0)


Join us for fun in the sun on a luxurious cruise to Mexico! This chapter event will help raise funds for student scholarships. For more info or questions, please contact Cruise Chair Tirrell Hamilton at tirrell.hamilton@gmail.com.


SoCal HBCU FAM-Tastic Voyage

May 06, 2011 - May 09, 2011



On the Carnival Paradise is the eighth & newest vessel in Carnival Cruise Lines' Fantasy class of cruise ships. The ship’s boardwalk is a breathtaking space for families with eateries, retail outlets, and carnival games. Carnival Paradise is a beautiful ship, spiffy-clean, easy to navigate, and filled with the attributes -- tons of activities, great food, Camp Carnival for kids, wonderful pools and sun decks, first-rate entertainment offering a full spectrum of activities and performances for guests.




Your travel package includes:

· 3 Nights aboard the Carnival Paradise

· Optional Insurance available starting at $35


DEPOSIT - $25 per person for doubles, triples and quads


Payments are due on or before December 30, 2010 and March 1, 2011

** You can make a payment anytime around the payment schedule (recommended) **

Final Payment Due: March 1, 2011 Form of Payment: Credit Card


Annual Black History Scholarship Luncheon

Posted by Alonda Nicole on December 20, 2010 at 8:59 PM Comments comments (0)

The FAMU SoCal Alumni Chapter will host the Annual Black History Luncheon on Saturday, February 26, 2011 at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. This year's theme is Rattler Renaissance and the Bernard & Shirley Kinsey award honorees will be Chris Floyd, President of the Los Angeles Opportunities Industrialization Centers and Sandra Evers-Manly, VP Diversity & Ethics of Northup Grumman. The FAMU Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are Antonio York III, former alumni chapter president, and Ruth Bernadine Tucker, educator. 


2010 Luncheon participants included Emcee Beverly White, President Antonio York III, Bernard Kinsey,

Shirley Kinsey, Faye McClure of Farmers Insurance, Actress Anika Noni Rose, Artistic Directo Sheldon Epps,

Actress Tene' Carter Miller, Chris Schauble of NBC4 and Journalist Xavier Higgs.