Scholarship named for departing Trustee creates opportunity for African American students

Jun 04, 2020
Frank T. Martin
Florida Polytechnic University Trustee Frank T. Martin speaks during Florida Polytechnic University’s 2018 commencement ceremony.

LAKELAND, Fla. – A new scholarship named for Florida Polytechnic University Trustee Frank T. Martin is designed to provide more opportunity to African American students and help them achieve their STEM career ambitions.

The Frank T. Martin Single Year Scholarship was established through the American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) to support African American students pursuing a degree in engineering, transportation, computer science, or data analytics. Students will need to attend Florida Poly, Tennessee State University, or Fisk University, a historically black university in Nashville, Tennessee. Martin earned his graduate and undergraduate degrees at the latter two institutions.

“The purpose of this scholarship is for persons of color to have better representation in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields,” Martin said. “It is a way to increase their credentials and become skilled professionals, fully prepared to compete for high-paying jobs.”

Martin has worked tirelessly for decades to improve higher education and public transportation. He is an inaugural Florida Poly Trustee and former member the Florida Board of Governors. Currently, he is the executive director and CEO of the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority in Birmingham, Alabama, and president of Frank T. Martin Consult, LLC.

Martin has been involved in shaping Florida Poly’s future from its earliest days. And although he ends his tenure on the Board of Trustees on July 15, he is committed to continue making an impact by helping others pursue their educational goals.

“Education is the key to open the door,” said Martin, who previously served on the APTF board and the board of directors of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). “I want to make sure that we provide opportunities for African Americans to get the undergraduate and graduate degrees with the right skills and education they’ll need to succeed.”

Martin said he is proud of his service to the higher education and transportation bodies on which he has served over the years.

“I call it paying civic rent – getting involved in organizations throughout my professional career,” he said. “It’s always been something I’ve done and it’s something that can make a difference within a community.”

Don Wilson, chair of the Florida Poly Board of Trustees, said Martin’s support and contributions to the University’s future are invaluable.

“Frank and I served together as Florida Poly Trustees for eight years and his longstanding commitment to the Board has been tremendous,” Wilson said. “We are deeply grateful for his impactful work for the University, and know his expertise and leadership in education has paved the way for students throughout the state to have better opportunities and future success.”

ATPF is accepting monetary contributions to the Frank T. Martin Single Year Scholarship. Click here to learn more. Interested students can apply here.


Lydia Guzman
Director of Communications