2017 Gift of Wisdom Award Winner

Congratulations to Katee Tully, recipient of the Women for Florida State University’s 2017 Gift of Wisdom Award.

Tully has always been a champion and leader at advocating for social justice in meaningful ways. In her nomination letter, Terri E. Cruz, her sister, shared, “From an early age, Katee understood that when things did not seem fair, she had the responsibility to do whatever she could to set things right.”

Tully served as a dean of the City University of New York, where she not only encouraged her support staff, both single mothers at the time, to continue their education but assisted them financially to cover the tuition costs that separated them from earning their degrees. She successfully implemented a leadership development program benefitting the rural communities of North Carolina, which lead to her speaking alongside Gloria Steinman on supporting young, geographically-isolated women. During that period, Tully was also dedicated to leading Outward Bound groups focused on women who had survived abusive relationships.

Tully currently serves as president of Her Florida, a new organization centralized on fundamental issues paramount to women. The organization’s mission is to bring a group of diverse women together for civil dialogue around the issues that matter most to them—including pay equity, school choice and reproductive rights. She is also in the process of launching a young artist market in St. Petersburg, Fla., with the goal of supporting local children that don’t currently have the financial resources and literacy to pursue their creative passions.

Though not a graduate of Florida State, Tully holds a great appreciation for the FSU community, growing up in Tallahassee among many family members who left their mark on campus, including her wife Helen. Together, Helen and she have made FSU central to their volunteer and financial support efforts.

Most recently, Tully spoke at the Women’s Leadership Institute, becoming a mentor to a few of the women in attendance and is now assisting with the establishment of a Greater Tampa Bay regional group of W4FSU.

Behind her profound dedication, Tully processes not only the heart but a history of perseverance. “As a survivor of breast cancer and 9/11, Katee exhibits courage under the most unimaginable circumstances,” Cruz stated in her nomination letter. “She prevails and shows the rest of us how we can do the same.”

A photo of Katee Tully, wearing a garnet vest and black shirt, standing at a podium
Katee Tully