The Women for Florida State University Gift of Wisdom Award was created to identify exceptional women of the past, embrace strong women of today and encourage the growth of women for the future. Our goal is to support women by building on the traditions of excellence set forth by our predecessors more than a century ago.
The nomination window opens every October, and honorees are celebrated in February at Backstage Pass. Visit this page again in October to nominate a woman who inspires you.
Sherrill Williams Ragans
Felicia M. Brunson
Dr. Mary Coburn
Dr. Tamara Bertrand Jones
Dr. Penny Ralston
The Florida State University we know today began as a seminary in 1851. Then, in 1905, it became the women's liberal arts college known as Florida State College for Women. In the early 20th century, the field of liberal arts was considered a woman's domain and the college's inaugural female students helped set the standard of excellence for what are now the university's current arts programs. In 1947, when the Florida State College for Women became Florida State University, women began to branch out into other fields, mirroring the change and progress taking place around the globe. The sciences, law and athletics at Florida State are now arenas where women are not only prevalent but also extremely successful. As part of our mission, The Women for Florida State University is committed to providing increased professional opportunities for women in the local community and throughout the state of Florida.
The history of this great university cannot be told without recognizing the influence of its pioneering women. The Women for Florida State University recognizes that FSU's past is comprised of thousands of small stories of unique, independent women. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to become a physician in the United States said, "For what is done or learned by one class of women becomes, by virtue of their common womanhood, the property of all women." With this in mind, the Gift of Wisdom Mentor Award was created not in recognition of one woman's professional achievements or of one woman's support for a large group of women, but as a celebration of all women's individual stories.