Florida State University (FSU) President Eric Barron recently held a reception for the FSU Black Alumni Association at his home on the FSU campus. During the reception, Barron cited the courageous efforts of black students who matriculated there during the early years of integration. He highlighted native Pensacolian, Michael Smith, class of 1972, as one of those who showed that kind of courage. Barron and Smith lived in the same dormitory at that time.
Barron acknowledged another alumnus who also matriculated during integration, John Marks, class of 1969, the current and first black mayor of Tallahassee. Barron indicated that Marks used his FSU experiences to obtain his position as mayor. Marks is a member of FSU’s School of Law class of 1972.
Other Pensacola natives attending the reception were Connie Jenkins-Pye, president of the FSU Black Alumni Association, classes of 1983, 1984, and 1985; her sister Cassandra Jenkins, classes of 1979 and 1981 and the alumni association’s parliamentarian; and Eric Choice, a guest of the alumni association.