FAMU student who posed nude in controversial graduation photos, Terica Williams, has received her master’s degree after a months-long delay.
According to NBC Miami, Terica is set to receive her master’s degree from FAMU in counselor education after seven months. The Florida-based HBCU reportedly delayed its decision to award her the degree due to controversial graduation pictures she posted via Instagram.
The recent grad told the news outlet that she’s very happy about finally receiving her degree following a suspension that put her career on pause.
“I feel amazing, overjoyed,” Terica said.
The young woman previously shared raunchy photos of herself posing nude in front of FAMU’s “Rattler” snake statue in July. In the photo, she wore nothing but heels and fake snake extensions that mimicked the school’s mascot.
“I took one next to the snake statute that represents me shedding like a snake into my new chapter,” she told NBC. “What was unique about that photo was that I appeared to be nude and I had snakes coming out of my head.”
Shortly after her images went viral on social media, the university informed her that her diploma would be delayed despite meeting all the requirements, she added.
“Their words were there would be a trial to decide if I violated any student code of conduct,” Terica said. “I was a little shocked because I didn’t feel like I violated any rules.”
Her attorney, David Kubiliun, described the delay as a “violation.”
“To me, it was a complete violation of her First Amendment right of expression,” he said.
Terica even said she missed out on internships with mental counseling facilities due to not having her master’s degree.
“I wasn’t able to move forward with the process because I did not have the degree to present,” she said.
Thankfully, she was able to state her case before a university board in September, and FAMU ruled in her favor. As of late, she’s currently been waiting on her diploma to arrive so she can continue her post-grad journey and apply to potential counseling firms.