FAMU’S Rich History Illustrated in New Campus Bookstore Mural

October 18, 2023
Bookstore Mural
Bookstore Mural

By Pamela Moore

As part of major renovations, the Florida A&M University Bookstore is now decorated with a new mural that illustrates the storied history of FAMU.

When envisioning the new look for the bookstore, a team, including representatives from Barnes & Noble, the chain’s design consultant, Business and Auxiliary Services (BAS), and the Office of Facilities, Planning, Construction and Safety, wanted to include design elements that would depict the vibrant, unique, and rich culture of FAMU. FAMU History Professor Reginald Ellis, Ph.D., provided historical background that helped the team conceptualize the mural.

The renovation project, which is expected to be completed by the end of October, also included several interior improvements including new merchandise displays, upgraded in-store graphics, a dedicated textbook pickup counter and help desk, and a beautiful graphic display highlighting the new retail cashier location, and more to come.

Bookstore Mural

The new Bookstore mural celebrates FAMU’s history and accomplishments in black and white and color. (Photos:Ernest Nelfrard)

“As we strived to move upward in the rankings of U.S. News & World Report’s Top Public National Universities, our vision for the bookstore renovation project was to enhance the student and customer experience, while celebrating the rich culture and history of our institution. Our renovation team did just that, and I eagerly anticipate witnessing the completed project, as our bookstore will beautifully embody the heritage of our University,” said Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer Rebecca Brown, who initiated the project.

The 10-panel historic mural guides its viewers through a pictorial journey of FAMU’s history, spanning from its humble beginning in 1887; highlighting many of its accolades and accomplishments through the years; images of prominent figures in athletics and the arts; educational advancements and expansions; to proudly showcasing its continued commitment to excellence and upholding its rich traditions. Each panel in the mural shares a significant piece of FAMU history.

The mural adorns the exterior windows of the bookstore facing the Food Court located in the Student Services Center at the intersection of Wahnish Way and Robert and Trudie Perkins Way. The newly installed entrance from the Food Court provides convenient access to the bookstore. 

“We wanted to be able to tell our story…our way,” said FAMU Office of Communications Art Director Brion Eason, the mural’s designer. “Designing the mural was indeed a challenge, but it was truly a labor of love to graphically paint a picture that embodies the past, present, and future of our institution.”

Eason credits Pamela Moore, BAS marketing and communications coordinator, for her role in the development of the design. Moore served as the graphics coordinator for the renovation project and was involved in the selection of images used in the mural.

‘We spent many hours and meticulously poured over hundreds of photos to ensure an accurate, yet vivid depiction of the University’s historical timeline,” Eason said.

Visitors may scan the QR Code displayed on the mural or visit https://www.famu.edu/about-famu/history/bookstore-mural.php for a detailed description of the mural.