The student union is named after H. Manning Efferson. Efferson was a native of South Carolina who earned a master's degree from Columbia and came to FAMU as a math instructor in 1924. Efferson went on to serve as head of the math department, dean of liberal arts and dean of students before being tapped as interim president from July 1949 to April 1950, between the presidencies of William Gray and George Gore. Efferson retired from FAMU in the early 1960s and died in 1972; FAMU named its student union building for him in 1975.