Florida Normal and Industrial Institute

Florida Normal & Industrial Institute. Photo courtesy Florida Memory

Florida Normal and Industrial Institute was part of what is now one of the oldest academic centers in Florida. Although it has roots back to 1879, it began in 1882 as the  the Florida Baptist Academy in Jacksonville, through mergers and moves the school was first consolidated as Florida Normal and Industrial Institute in 1918 when it moved to St. Augustine. The St. Augustine campus sat on a tract of land that had previously been one of the largest slave plantations in Florida.

The historical age of the institution came about with another merger, this time with the Florida Baptist Institute in Live Oak (founded in 1879), supported raising the school’s classification to a four-year institution. During World War II the college was chosen to train the first Black Soldiers to serve in the Army’s Signal Corps. The school’s name would change to Florida Normal and Industrial Memorial College in 1950 and again in 1963 to Florida Memorial College. The college moved one last time, leaving St. Augustine in 1968 for Miami Gardens.

Today it is know as Florida Memorial University and continues its service to the Black community. It is ranked second in Florida and ninth in the nation for graduating African-American teachers.

Source: Florida Memorial University, Wikipedia

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