Welcome from the 2016-17 Chair

Since the turn of the century, Florida State University has been undergoing a profound shift. We’ve begun investing heavily in our most important asset, our students, by bolstering academic programs and providing students with greater opportunities. In 2013, we were designated as one of just two pre-eminent research institutions in the state of Florida, and have received countless accolades for our academic programs, inclusivity initiatives, and student support systems. Surprisingly enough, all of this progress has taken place amidst record cuts in state funding.

Before the cuts, Florida State had begun making great strides towards national recognition, and this loss of funding jeopardized years of progress. Concerned about this potential loss of momentum, the university looked at private philanthropy as a possible solution, a tradition usually practiced more heavily by private institutions. With an extensive and distinguished alumni base, private philanthropy turned has out to be a plentiful source of support for our efforts, and in the time that we have made this forward progress, we have also ranked first in the state in terms of percent of alumni giving back.

For Florida State, a public institution that has stood since 1851, this focus on private giving is a relatively new concept. Traditionally, students attending public universities haven’t thought about philanthropy, because tuition, fees, and government funding provided ample support. In a new financial landscape, however, private giving is what helps our university thrive and succeed, and ultimately, what adds direct value to our degrees.

The 2016-17 Student Foundation Board of Trustees is a group of students committed to giving back to the university that has given so much to us. Our aim is to impart our commitment to giving back onto our fellow students, rallying around the betterment of FSU as a whole. By educating Florida State’s students on the importance of private support and encouraging those students to give back even at an undergraduate level, we hope to create a culture of gratitude and camaraderie centered on giving back to the institution that has given us so much. I am tremendously grateful to be serving as Chairman of the 2016-17 Student Foundation Board of Trustees, but more than that, I am eager to see what we can accomplish for the greater good of Florida State University.

In Seminole Pride, 

David Walsh
FSU Student Foundation