It's official: 'Althea Gibson Way' signs are installed on FAMU's campus after renaming

Road signs from FAMU Way to Bragg Drive have begun to sport the new "Althea Gibson Way" name. The name change comes after a back and forth with Leon County and the City of Tallahassee over the change which replaced former Wahnish Way.
Road signs from FAMU Way to Bragg Drive have begun to sport the new "Althea Gibson Way" name. The name change comes after a back and forth with Leon County and the City of Tallahassee over the change which replaced former Wahnish Way.

Florida A&M University’s campus is officially decked with newly installed “Althea Gibson Way” road signs, replacing the former Wahnish Way designation.

The signs from FAMU Way to Bragg Drive were installed by the City of Tallahassee Monday in honor of the former Rattler tennis star who broke the color barrier and became the first African American to win a Grand Slam title.

About a month ago, the city gathered at the Al Lawson Center on FAMU’s campus for a ceremony that celebrated the renaming.

Road signs from FAMU Way to Bragg Drive have begun to sport the new "Althea Gibson Way" name. The name change comes after a back and forth with Leon County and the City of Tallahassee over the change which replaced former Wahnish Way.
Road signs from FAMU Way to Bragg Drive have begun to sport the new "Althea Gibson Way" name. The name change comes after a back and forth with Leon County and the City of Tallahassee over the change which replaced former Wahnish Way.

More: Renowned FAMU tennis star Althea Gibson gets street dedication for 'groundbreaking achievements'

But the celebration came after a battle of back-and-forth drama between Leon County and Tallahassee city commissioners over the responsibilities of the change, where the county voted against a formal renaming and instead pursued an honorary signage.

Despite the commotion, plans proceeded to dedicate the street in Gibson’s honor to recognize her groundbreaking achievements.

Tallahassee city commissioners voted to move forward with the renaming after it was shot down at the county level, and the idea was also supported by FAMU, which approached the city last October with the idea.

FAMU President Larry Robinson shared an X post Tuesday of one of the newly installed Althea Gibson Way signs on campus as it hung on an intersection with Robert and Trudie Perkins Way, formerly labeled Gamble Street.

FAMU President Larry Robinson, FAMU Director of Government Relations Danielle McBeth and Tallahassee City Commissioner Curtis Richardson hold an "Althea Gibson Way" sign ahead of its installation on campus Monday, June 10, 2024.
FAMU President Larry Robinson, FAMU Director of Government Relations Danielle McBeth and Tallahassee City Commissioner Curtis Richardson hold an "Althea Gibson Way" sign ahead of its installation on campus Monday, June 10, 2024.

The FAMU alumna — dubbed the most revered athlete to ever step foot on the university’s campus — was a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s 1971 class. She passed away in 2003 at 76.

Gibson also has honors across the country for what she did for tennis and minorities.

In addition, the tennis complex at FAMU is named after Gibson, and the university hopes to invest $200,000 from a planned $1 million fundraising campaign for athletics by the 220 Quarterback Club to build a Gibson statue.

Similar to the street renaming after the legendary tennis player, closer to FAMU’s Bragg Stadium is Bob Hayes Lane in honor of the FAMU alumnus and Olympian. After starting his career at FAMU as a runner and football player, he won gold medals at the 1964 Summer Olympics and played in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys.

Street names in honor of the two athletic icons share an intersection on FAMU’s campus.

Contact Tarah Jean at tjean@tallahassee.com or follow her on X: @tarahjean_.

This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Althea Gibson Way signs are installed on FAMU campus after renaming

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