2012 Gift of Wisdom Award Winner

Congratulations to Stella Cottrell, recipient of The Women for Florida State University's 2012 Gift of Wisdom Mentor Award. Cottrell taught French, social studies and music in Texas and Florida for 12 years and has served on the music staff at churches in those states for 35-plus years. She also serves as a rehearsal accompanist for Walt Disney World’s entertainment division.

In writing Cottrell’s nomination, Women for Florida State University member Pam Vierling said, “Stella is often behind the scenes, volunteering her time and talents in order to bring music to the forefront. I am so thankful that she shares that gift with us.”

Vierling first met Cottrell in 1984 when, as a young teacher and new mother, Vierling was struggling to find a daycare provider. Through a mutual friend, Cottrell volunteered to help Vierling. “I was so appreciative for this otherwise complete stranger who came to my rescue in the midst of a crisis. I soon learned that this kind gesture was just one small example of who Stella is. Today, I am eternally grateful because it was the start of a wonderful friendship,” Vierling wrote in her nomination.

“Stella has a special talent for seeing potential, whether it’s within a community, a school, a committee or an individual person,” Vierling continued. “She acts on that vision and always leaves it better than the way she found it.”

In addition to being active in Women for FSU, Cottrell is an FSU Foundation Board of Trustees member and has chaired the Arts & Sciences Leadership Council. She also is a graduate of Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in French.

Cottrell was presented with the award at The Women for Florida State University's Backstage Pass to the Very Best of Florida State, held March 16-17, 2012.

A headshot of Stella Cottrell, smiling, wearing a garnet blouse
Stella Cottrell