2020 Summer Newsletter

A garnet and gold map of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama with the W4FSU logo marking two cities

An Inside Look at W4FSU's Atlanta and South Florida Regions

By: Chelsea Shackelford

Our two newest regional liaisons give us a glimpse of how they became involved with W4FSU and what they hope to see within their regions.

Gold script text reading "Backstage Pass, to the very best of Florida State 2020" on a garnet background

Another Successful Year for Backstage Pass

By: Melissa Powell

In February, W4FSU gathered for a behind-the-scenes look at Florida State programs.

A photo of Dr. Amy Hecht on a gold background with white text that reads "An Interview with Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Amy Hecht"

Supporting FSU Students During COVID-19

By: Dr. Amy Hecht

W4FSU spoke with Dr. Amy Hecht to discuss FSU's efforts supporting students while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

A photo of Dean of Undergraduate Studies Karen Laughlin smiling

W4FSU and FSU Community Mourns Dean Karen Laughlin

By: Melissa Powell

To honor Dean Laughlin, FSU has created ways for you to contribute to her legacy.

A headshot of Tena Pate


Who would have thought that within just a handful of days of spending time with each other in late February, our lives would have changed so significantly?

It was at our annual business meeting that I cautioned you to never turn your back on an opportunity to influence others by sharing your story. I assure you I had no idea what was heading our way at the time, yet the advice is just as relevant today as it was then—“you just can’t never, always sometimes tell.”

When events happen as suddenly as they have, we face many challenges, but it’s our response that can create a lasting impact for us all. President John Thrasher, Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Amy Hecht and other members of FSU leadership have risen to these challenges, and never have I been so proud. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university’s attention has shifted directly to the needs of students, raising $560,824 through efforts such as FSU’s Great Give: Support our Students and Giving Tuesday Now.

Women for FSU is actively engaged in these same priorities, asking in particular, “how do we want W4FSU to be viewed and remembered during this time?” In doing so, we draw on the strength and influence of others who have greatly impacted our university.

The FSU community lost a beloved member of its family this week. Katherine "Kitty" Hoffman died Saturday, July 18, just shy of her 106th birthday. She was a treasured member of W4FSU, receiving the Gift of Wisdom Award in 2013. Read more about her legacy.

I also invite you to tune in to PBS this summer to watch “Daring Women Doctors: Physicians in the 19th Century,” a new documentary from FSU alumna Valerie Scoon, in collaboration with the College of Motion Picture Arts, that highlights the challenging and illuminating history of female physicians in the 1800s.

As I reflect on Kitty’s legacy and the “Daring Women Doctors” documentary, I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes—“True success is found in the lives you’ve changed, not in the things obtained.” This is what leaders do; identify realities and offer hope by the way they address needs.

We are dedicating this newsletter to celebrating those members, whether on campus or in our communities, who are meeting today’s challenges and embracing them as opportunities. Also included is an overview of the successful 2020 Backstage Pass and other noteworthy updates.

Until next time,

Tena Pate's signature

Tena Pate
Chair, Women for FSU