FSU CONNECT campaign reaches new high of $617 million

Oceanography Professor Emeritus John Winchester Gives $1.14 million
Florida State University President T.K. Wetherell announced that John "Jack" Winchester, professor emeritus of the department of oceanography, has donated $1.14 million to the FSU CONNECT capital campaign, providing the gift that pushed the total over the $600 million target. To date, the campaign, which ends Dec. 31, 2005, has raised a total of $617 million.

"The outpouring of support for the FSU CONNECT campaign is overwhelming and is evident in the number of unsung heroes who have risen to the challenge in support of this campaign," Wetherell said. "This milestone is a true testament to all who believe in Florida State University."

Winchester, who served the department of oceanography for 33 years, has requested that the gift be used as a general academic endowment for the department.

"I am personally sympathetic to the advancement of the work that this department has done and equally proud of the contributions from my colleagues," he said. "My wife and I are humbled by our ability to give a significant resource to help maintain the integrity and growth of the department."

Five years ago, Florida State embarked on "FSU CONNECT: The Campaign for Florida State University," its most significant capital campaign to date. The campaign was launched to provide resources for eminent scholar chairs, professorships, building improvements, technology updates, undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, lectureships and more.

While the FSU Foundation manages the FSU CONNECT campaign, the Seminole Boosters and FSU Research Foundation have each played important fund-raising roles. Of the $617 million raised thus far, the FSU Foundation has raised $426.6 million.

The Seminole Boosters have raised $170 million and the FSU Research Foundation has raised $18 million.

"In addition to the efforts of the Boosters and the Research Foundation, the success of this campaign can be attributed to the leadership of the FSU deans and Foundation Board of Trustees, and the hard work of Foundation staff," said Foundation Interim President Marilyn Spores.

Spores said about 74 percent of the funds raised by the Foundation will benefit faculty, staff, and students in the following ways:

  • General academic support, 38 percent
  • Student financial aid, 24 percent
  • Faculty and staff, 12 percent

"These funds provided for 511 new scholarships, 22 new eminent scholar chairs and 61 new professorships, and supported or created 400 academic support programs," Spores said.

Additional funds will be used for facilities, research, libraries, public services, research and athletics.

The Florida State University Foundation Inc.(www.foundation.fsu.edu), enhances the academic vision and priorities of FSU through its organized fund-raising activities and funds management. The Foundation, a nonprofit corporation established in 1960, is governed by an elected board of trustees, whose members serve as advocates for the university, its colleges, schools and programs.