FSU rewards five torch awards for advancing the university’s academic excellence

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Left to Right: Janet Kistner, Vice President of Faculty Development and Advancement, Doby Flowers, Paula Peters Smith, Bill Godfrey Smith, John Thrasher, Fred Flowers, Dorothy Jenkins and her husband Charles Jenkins.

The Florida State University Faculty Senate honored five members of the academic community on May 24 with the Torch Award for their contributions to promoting academic excellence at FSU.

FSU President John Thrasher congratulated the winners and their dedication to the university at Monday’s event.

“As a past recipient of a Torch Award, I know how special it is to be honored by the faculty in this way, and these people couldn’t be more deserving,” he said. declared. “They donated their time, talents and treasures because they strongly believe in our mission and because they care deeply about our faculty, staff and students.

Thrasher added, “They just do it because they love Florida State University.”

The award is named after the three torches depicted on the university’s seal. The three prize categories of the flame are: Vires, representing moral, physical and intellectual strength; Artes, conveying an appreciation of the aesthetics and beauty of intellectual pursuits; and Mores, symbolizing respect for customs, character and tradition.

This year, the Faculty’s Senate awarded two Vires, two Mores and one Artes prizes.

FSU President John Thrasher, himself a Torch Prize winner, thanked this year's laureates for their love for the university and their work on its behalf.
FSU President John Thrasher, himself a Torch Prize winner, thanked this year’s laureates for their love for the university and their work on its behalf.

The winners are:

Paula Peters Smith (Mores)

Smith has a long history of working for FSU, which she has done for the most part anonymously.

She is a renowned organizer and chaired Florida State University’s 150th anniversary celebration in 2001 at the behest of Sandy D’Alemberte, then president of FSU. Along with her husband Bill Smith, who is also a Torch Prize winner this year, she is proud to support FSU athletics, especially the baseball team, which she and Bill are hosting at their home for dinner at the start of every season.

Smith graduated in 1976 in fashion merchandising from the School of Home Economics – now College of Health and Human Sciences. She has since resided primarily in Tallahassee, where she devotes her time, energy and commitment to college.

She has served on the Development Board of the College of Health and Humanities, helping to raise endowment funds for the college, and is currently a member of the board of trustees of the Florida State University Foundation.

Its public service also extended beyond the campus. Smith led an eight-year project to fund and build a permanent home for the Leon County Library and she chaired a committee to renovate and improve five downtown public parks. She also led efforts to fund and build a new youth baseball facility in Myers Park.

In 2001, she chaired the Leon / Tallahassee United Way fundraising campaign and successfully requested a $ 1 million donation from the Anheuser Busch Foundation to install the iconic dolphin sculpture in the West Plaza of the Florida Capitol.

Bill and Paula Smith received the Mores Torch Award, which symbolizes respect for customs, character and tradition.
Bill and Paula Smith received the Mores Torch Award, which symbolizes respect for customs, character and tradition.

William “Bill” Godfrey Smith (Mores)

Bill Smith is President and CEO of Capital City Bank Group, where he began his career in 1978. Black-smith obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from FSUof College of Business in 1976 and almost immediately became an active participant in the FSU community.

A former vsChairman of the Foundation Board of the FSU, Black-smith managed a fundawareness campaign which generated many significant donations to FSU to support its academic mission.

Sustained financial support for FSU is a tradition of the Smith family and The Smith Family Trust donated millions of dollars to FSU. The trust’s first major donation endowed an FSU College of Business chair in 1988 Named for Smith grandmother: President Fannie Wilson Smith. The gift has been one of the first endowed chairs in the State of Florida System.

Over the years, Smith hahas led many groups at FSU, including the Research Foundation and the Board of Directors of the FSU College of Business Student Investment Fund.

Black-smith was inducted into the FSU College of Business Hall of Fame in 2009 and also served as a member of the Florida State University Athletic Board.

Doby and Fred Flowers were pioneers at FSU, with Doby being the first African American Queen to return home and Fred the first African American member of the FSU baseball team.  Both have maintained their involvement with FSU since graduating.
Doby and Fred Flowers were pioneers at FSU, with Doby being the first African American queen to return and Fred the first African American athlete in uniform. Both have maintained their involvement with FSU since graduation.

Fred & Doby Flowers (Vires)

Bronze likenesses of siblings Fred and Doby Flowers adorn the center of the FSU Campus Integration Statue, a lasting testament to their accomplishments as civil rights pioneers at Florida State University.

Fred and Doby secured their place in FSU history by breaking down the highly visible color barriers on campus: Fred as the first African American athlete in uniform at FSU and Doby as the first Afro reunion queen. -American FSU.

Fred came to FSU in 1965 and, as the pitcher of the FSU baseball team, he endured vicious racial taunts and epithets not only on the road, but also from local fans. Fred rose above these with poise and grace and paved the way for generations of African American athletes to follow in his footsteps.

Doby was also a pioneer at FSU. Enrolling in 1967, she was persuaded by her classmates to run for Homecoming Queen in 1970. It was not just a beauty pageant or a popularity contest. Doby knew that his successful campaign was a victory not only for the small group of African American students on campus, but also for the larger student body.

Fred went on to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree from FSU and a law degree from the University of Florida. He began his law practice in Tallahassee, became a trial attorney, and litigated hundreds of cases, including a number of landmark civil rights cases where he defended the names of young Afro-students. Americans.

After earning her own bachelor’s and master’s degrees at FSU, Doby built a successful career in the arts and business, a journey that took her to Boston and New York. His career bears witness to the role of the arts in the service of justice. Fred and Doby eventually returned home to FSU.

Fred and Doby were both the inspiration and the main forces in establishing the Civil Rights Institute at FSU. Established in 2018, the institute has been recognized for its commitment to improving FSU’s civil rights records and promoting civil rights education and advocacy on campus.

Dorothy Jenkins helped secure the financial future of the Ringling Museum and is also a member of the Doak Campbell, Francis Eppes and Robert Strozier societies.
Dorothy Jenkins helped secure the financial future of the Ringling Museum and is also a member of the Doak Campbell, Francis Eppes and Robert Strozier societies.

Dorothy Jenkins (Artes)

Through her leadership and generosity, Dorothy Chao Jenkins has been an important force in helping FSU fulfill its academic mission.

His personal commitment to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art embodies Vires, Artes and Mores and exemplifies someone who appreciates the aesthetics and beauty of intellectual pursuits.

Jenkins was originally appointed to the board of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation in 1997 by former Florida Governor Lawton Chiles. When FSU became the trustee of The Ringling, she became a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ringling Foundation.

where she served as president from 2004 to 2005 and continued to serve until 2009. In 2011, Jenkins joined the Ringling board of directors and retired from the board in 2019.

In 2002 Jenkins established the Dorothy Jenkins Endowment Fund at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. She has supported the Howard Tibbals Learning Center and The Art of Performance series as well as the former Ringling International Arts Festival.

She has contributed annually to The Ringling’s highest level of annual membership at the Chairman’s Circle level. Through her personal donations and through the Chao Foundation, she has generously provided over $ 6 million to support The Ringling, its facilities and programs. Jenkins was instrumental in The Ringling receiving three gifts totaling more than $ 5 million from the Chao Foundation to the Center for Asian Art named after Chao.

She is a member of the Ringling Friends of Asian Art, Friends of Art of Our Time, and the Ringling Legacy Society.

As a member of the Florida State University President’s Club, she is recognized in the Doak Campbell, Francis Eppes and Robert Strozier societies.

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