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Four alumni earn prestigious place in College of Business Hall of Fame

Four alumni will be inducted into the Florida State University College of Business Hall of Fame at a celebration and ceremony on Thursday, March 31, at the Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center.

The four will join 39 other individuals inducted since the Hall of Fame was created in 2003 to honor alumni who have excelled in their careers and made significant contributions to the mission of FSU and the College of Business.

“These individuals have distinguished themselves in their fields, communities and among their peers,” said Michael Hartline, interim dean of the college. “Each reflects the high-quality education we deliver and the solid foundation we lay for success. They are wonderful role models for our students and young graduates, and we are proud that they continue to be involved in our college.”

The new inductees are:

• Nan Casper Hillis,who earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance in 1976, is a retired senior banking executive. During her 39-year career, she held positions at Bankers Trust Company, Citicorp North America, Bank South, Bank of America, BB&T and most recently Prime Meridian Bank. Hillis is a member of the executive committee of the FSU Foundation Board of Trustees and on the Foundation’s Donor Stewardship Committee. She has held leadership positions on the College of Business Board of Governors, including past chair. She is a recipient of the Florida State University Alumni Association Circle of Gold award. Hillis has served as co-chair of the FSU Connect Capital Campaign and is a member of the board of directors of the FSU Alumni Association. She is a member of the FSU Raise the Torch National Campaign Committee.

• J. Robert “Bobby” Jones Jr., who earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting in 1975, is a retired partner with the private equity firm Bluff Point, which he joined in 2007 after selling the company he had earlier founded to Citigroup. He led Bluff Point’s business development activities, as well as the strategic planning of its portfolio companies, which focused on wealth management and retirement sectors. He has served on the board of the FSU Foundation and chaired the board and its Finance, Trusteeship and Investment committees. He also has been honored as the College of Business’ Charles A. Bruning Distinguished Speaker. Jones serves on the board of the college’s Student Investment Fund and on the Investment Board of Advisors of the State of Florida Retirement System.

• William “Bill” Stephenson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in management in 1982, is the chief executive officer and chairman of the executive board of De Lage Landen International B.V. (DLL), a Dutch-based, global provider of asset-based financing. He made history in 2014 by becoming the first non-Dutch national to lead the company. Under his leadership, the company has grown its managed portfolio to more than $43.4 billion. Stephenson is a Platinum Chief scholarship contributor to Seminole Boosters, which supports FSU’s student athletes, and a lifetime member of the FSU Alumni Association. He also endowed the Linebacker Scholarship for an FSU football player and was a major contributor to the Bobby Bowden Legacy Campaign and the iconic Osceola statue at Doak Campbell Stadium. He also is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

• John Thrasher, who graduated in 1965 with a degree in business administration and in 1972 with a juris doctorate, is FSU’s 15th president. He took office on Nov. 10, 2014, after a successful career as a lawyer, businessman and politician. During his political career, he served on a school board, in the Florida House of Representatives and in the Florida Senate. His success as a leader, businessman and lobbyist has helped him to develop strong ties within the community. He was the first chair of Florida State University’s Board of Trustees and was a key supporter of legislation that brought funding to the development of FSU’s College of Medicine, and a building at that college is named in his honor.