Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumni Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, donated $250,000 in 2016 during the Florida Classic to aid the FAMU Marching 100 Band purchase new uniforms for the first times in 15 years. The gift also supported the purchase of a branded trailer to transport the band’s instruments and equipment. Bernard Kinsey was a member of the band and met his wife at FAMU during the 1960s.
The Kinseys challenged the University community to match their gift to ensure the band received a total of $500,000 in funding. In 2017 the FAMU Office of Academic Affairs provided $250,000 to purchase instruments for the music department and met the terms of the challenge. The FAMU Foundation provided an additional $100,000 in scholarships for band members.
More than 300 uniforms were custom designed and created by the Fruhauf Uniform Company for the 241-member band, including 12 drum major uniforms and 20 flag corps uniforms. The uniforms also include a patch on the cuffs of the original Rattler mascot the band has used since 1972. The Band unveiled the uniforms at the 2017 Florida Classic with a special presentation to the Kinseys.
The uniforms, along with the band, will be in the national spotlight when the Marching 100 take part in the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA.