The 2019 Rose Bowl Parade is a now history, and the FAMU Marching 100 did not disappoint. To the contrary, these stellar students represented all of Florida, FAMU, and the entire HBCU community well.
Some will argue, that was the trip worth the nearly $400,000 price tag for almost 45 seconds of TV time? The answer is a resounding yes! The 100’s participation was important for both the university and the band. The trip again put the Marching 100 back on the national stage, in a positive way, after the highly publicized hazing death of Robert Champion in 2011.
Since the reinstatement of the band in 2012, the organization has operated under a myriad of stringent rules which do not apply to other student organizations (outside of athletic teams). Rules which (probably) no other collegiate marching band program in the country operate under. Rules, which were, no doubt, necessary considering severity of the incident, the band’s one-year suspension, and the several external investigations and civil and criminal lawsuits the university and several former band members faced.
None of the current band members had anything to do with that dark period, but yet those choose to be a part of helping to restore the organization we had all come to know and revere.
Tuesday’s trip down Colorado Boulevard for the Marching 100, in the Tournament of Roses Parade, before an estimated 60 million television viewers from around the globe was one grand step forward on in this six-year journey.