Frederick Stephen Humphries was an American academic administrator and chemistry professor. He served as President of Tennessee State University (1974 to 1985), and President of Florida A&M University (1985 to 2001).

He was also President and CEO of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education from 2001 to 2003. Florida A&M University conferred the President Emeritus title upon him on December 11, 2009. He was Regent Professor at the Florida A&M University College of Law from 2003 until his retirement in 2014. He received a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 1964 where he was the first African American to receive a Ph.D in this discipline from the University.

His awards and honors include the Drum Major for Justice Award in Education by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; President’s Award for Excellence in Higher Education by 100 Black Men in America, Inc.; Leadership Grant by the Prudential Life Insurance Company of America Foundation; Certificate of Appreciation by the Governor of Tennessee; Certificate of Appreciation by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Human Development Services; and others.

Among Humphries’ most memorable awards are the Distinguished Alumnus Award presented by the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pittsburgh in 1986; the United Bicentennial Medal of Distinction by the University of Pittsburgh on its 200th anniversary; and the Thurgood Marshall Educational Achievement Award by Johnson Publishing Company for the most outstanding contributions to education. In 1998, the Orlando Sentinel named him “Floridian of the Year,” the first black person to be honored with this award. As an academic leader and astute administrator, Humphries has consistently shared his gifts and talents with others through publications, consultantships, and the evaluation of the accreditation process for universities.

Through more than fifteen articles, dozens of scholarly speeches, and numerous evaluative and consultative services to educational institutions, he has significantly influenced educational development throughout America. A strong proponent of the land-grant idea in education for minorities, Humphries shared his ideas with the nation in the lead article, “1890 Land-Grant Institutions: Their Struggle for Survival and Equality,” published in the Spring 1991 issue of Agricultural History. Also, his article on “Black Colleges — A National Resource for the Training of Minority Scientific and Engineering Manpower,” which was presented to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1978, became a guideline for the implementation of science and engineering.

Congress or in an inner-city church in Miami or Tampa. While President, Humphries retained active membership in professional organizations, even though his demanding administrative duties and responsibilities made classroom teaching and research almost impossible. He was a member of the American Association of Higher Education, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Association of Minority Research Universities.


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