Distinguished FSU alumni, faculty, staff to receive awards at Homecoming

The Homecoming Awards Banquet—to be held at the Alumni Center on West Tennessee Street, with cocktails at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. and the program to follow—will feature the announcement of many of the distinguished awards that mark FSU’s Homecoming celebration each year.

Honors bestowed for the exceptional achievements of alumni and staff will include the Alumni Association’s own Bernard F. Sliger Award and Grand Marshal Award; the FSU Chapter of the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society’s "Grads Made Good" awards; and the student-run Garnet and Gold Key honorary society’s Ross Oglesby Award.

FSU Alumni Association President Barry Adams has described the Nov. 17 event as an embodiment of what Homecoming at FSU is all about: love of alma mater, fondness for a special place, exceptional professional and personal achievement, and often untold service and commitment offered in support of a remarkable university.

Reservations are required for the 2006 Annual Homecoming Awards Banquet; please call Paula Moyer at (850) 644-2767 or pmoyer@alumni.fsu.edu.

Then, on Saturday, Nov. 18, it’s the prestigious 2006 ODK Homecoming Breakfast and Initiation, sponsored by the FSU Chapter of the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and set for 8 to 10 a.m. in the Suwannee Room on the FSU campus. Highlights will include ODK’s recognition of its four 2006 Grads Made Good announced at the previous evening’s Homecoming Awards Banquet. In addition, ODK’s 2006 Alumnus of the Year will be named. Reservations are required for the Nov. 18 breakfast, which costs $6 and is open both to ODK members and non-members. Please call Annelise Leysieffer at (850) 893-1272.

Among the honors to be announced at the Nov. 17 Awards Banquet is the FSU Alumni Association’s highest, the Bernard F. Sliger Award, which recognizes a member of the university community who has, through his or her efforts, made a major contribution to the fulfillment of the institution’s mission.

This year’s Bernard F. Sliger Award will go to former FSU President J. Stanley Marshall, who served at the university’s helm during a tumultuous period on many American campuses, from 1969-1976.

"Dr. Marshall is the third FSU president to be accorded this highest Alumni Association honor," Adams said. "It recognizes the service, wisdom and fortitude that propelled him through his presidential tenure. He is highly regarded among both faculty and former students and has been an outspoken supporter and fan of FSU for many years."

As head of FSU’s department of science education, Marshall became a leading figure both nationally and internationally in science education. He is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, served for five years on the AAAS Commission on Science Education, and was founding editor of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching. Active in civic affairs, Marshall received the Lifetime Leadership Award from Leadership Tallahassee.  He was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to FSU’s first Board of Trustees and in 2004 was confirmed to the State University System’s Board of Governors.

At the state level, Marshall served with Gov. Reubin Askew on the Cabinet Reform Commission and in 1997-98 was a member of Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission. He also served for a dozen years on the Board of Trustees of Bethune-Cookman College and chaired that board for four years.

On the national scene, Marshall served on the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine and was a member of the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission, both presidential appointments. He held membership on the Secretary of the Navy’s Advisory Board on Naval Education and Training, and on the Secretary of the Army’s Board on ROTC.

Also to be bestowed on Nov. 17 is the Alumni Association’s Grand Marshal Award, which honors an individual for his or her leadership and service to the state of Florida and FSU and designates the honoree as the standard-bearer of the spirit of Homecoming. This year’s Grand Marshal is FSU Flying High Circus Director Richard W. "Dickie" Brinson, who joined the "The Greatest Collegiate Show on Earth" as a performer in 1965, was appointed assistant director in 1969, and has been its director since 1972—an association with the circus that spans 41 of its nearly 60 years.

"Richard ‘Dickie’ Brinson not only has been a outstanding representative, mentor and instructor for FSU and its students, particularly those who participate in the FSU Flying High Circus," Adams said. "He has been greatly admired by thousands of alumni and friends of the university, who have recognized his commitment and dedication as an advisor, director and staff member. In the 60th year of the Flying High Circus, this award is easy to appreciate; he stands out as not just a symbol of Homecoming spirit but as one of the true instigators of spirit, determination and the ‘can do’ attitude found so commonly among our students and alumni."

Over the course of his 35 years at the helm, Brinson has been instrumental in negotiating and sustaining a $100,000 annual sponsorship contract with Coca-Cola, organizing and growing the circus alumni group, and bringing worldwide attention to FSU. He is an FSU Alumni Association Circle of Gold recipient and a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow.

Also during the Nov. 17 Awards Banquet festivities, the student-run Garnet and Gold Key honorary society—FSU’s oldest leadership organization—will bestow its Ross Oglesby Award on William Woodyard, an associate professor in business law and real estate.

The Ross Oglesby Award originated in 1973 and each year goes to an FSU faculty or staff member who has, for 10 years or more, exemplified the highest order of integrity, service and commitment to students and the university.

"Faced with a distinguished pool of applicants, Garnet and Gold Key wanted to award the Ross Oglesby Award to someone who strongly encourages and aids students in all endeavors here at FSU," said Garnet and Gold Key Vice President Sarah Rodriguez, who will present Woodyard with his award.

"Dr. Woodyard serves our university by teaching both in the College of Business and the College of Law. He is an adviser to a number of organizations and that number grows every year, including the Business School Allocations Committee and Garnet and Gold Key. He brings an inspiring sense of dedication to each of these organizations and is always there to lend a helping hand or offer a token of wisdom. Dr. Woodyard is largely responsible for the cultivation and success of so many students on this campus in leadership, academics and personal growth."

Recognized as "Favorite Professor" by the FSU Times in 2001, Woodyard has been a nominee for the FSU Undergraduate Teaching Award (2005 and 2006), an instructor for FSU International Programs, a member of the selection committee for the FSU WebStars, and a scholarship committee member for the FSU Center for Civic Education and Service (2004-05).

He currently serves as adviser to Garnet and Gold Key, Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity and the FSU Real Estate Society. In 2005, Woodyard won the College of Business Service Award. Prior to joining the FSU faculty, Woodyard served for 10 years as general counsel to the Florida Department of Business Regulation.

Finally, the Nov. 17 Awards Banquet will feature the FSU Chapter of the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society’s 2006 Grads Made Good awards.

This year’s four distinguished and distinctive Grads Made Good are:

• Laird Anderson (B.S. ’58, political science and international relations), professor emeritus of journalism at the School of Communication at American University in Washington, D.C. A faculty member for more than 23 years, he has held several administrative posts in addition to teaching, including the position of director of journalism programs.

Anderson’s professional journalism career includes service as a reporter with The Wall Street Journal and bureau chief and governmental affairs correspondent for the Miami News in Tallahassee. Anderson also is the author of many journal and newspaper articles concerning media issues, government affairs and the military. He is co-editor of "Pulitzer Prize Editorials: America’s Best Writing, 1917-2003," published by Iowa State University Press, and "Reporting on Business and the Economy," published by Prentice-Hall.

• Max Mayfield (M.S. ’87, meteorology), the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Tropical Prediction Center-National Hurricane Center, which is part of NOAA’s National Weather Service. He has played a key role in forecast and service improvements for more than 33 years.

A familiar face during hurricane season, Mayfield is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society. He was named ABC Television Network’s "Person of the Week" after 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, was selected as the 2005 Government Communicator of the Year by the National Association of Government Communicators, and received a Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service in 2005.

Mayfield is the current chairman of the World Meteorological Organization’s Regional Association-IV, which supports 26 members from Atlantic and eastern Pacific countries. He will retire from the National Hurricane Center in January.

• Peter F. Romero (B.S. ’71, science education; M.A. ’72, international affairs), the chief executive officer of Experior Advisory, a Washington D.C.-based consulting firm that specializes in international business and political advising. Romero has more than 26 years of experience negotiating in international markets and politics.

Previously, Romero was the assistant secretary of state of the New Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau (an area that stretches from Canada to Chile), where he was the highest-ranking Hispanic official in the career U.S. Foreign Service. A 24-year career diplomat, he previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Ecuador and chief of mission of the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador, El Salvador. Romero continues to be sought after for his expertise in investment strategies, national reconciliation and conflict resolution. He advises presidents and cabinet members of governments throughout the hemisphere.

• Steven L. Sears (B.A. ’80, theatre) is a successful Hollywood writer and producer with credits that include "The A-Team," "JJ Starbuck," "The Highwayman," "Father Dowling Mysteries," "Swamp Thing" and "Walker, Texas Ranger." He has been involved in numerous television pilots, features, interactive movies and animation projects. Sears also was co-executive producer of the hit syndicated series "Xena – Warrior Princess," and co-created and was executive producer of the Columbia/TriStar series "Sheena."

He credits much of his success to guidance provided by former FSU School of Theatre Dean Richard Fallon. To help students avoid interrupting their education to make money (as he had to), Sears recently established the Steven L. Sears Scholarship in the School of Theatre to assist undergraduate and graduate students in maintaining "academic continuity."

For more information about FSU’s 2006 Homecoming events, visit www.alumni.fsu.edu/homecoming2006.html and http://homecoming.fsu.edu/.