The Florida State University Alumni Association recently honored four distinguished friends and advocates whose contributions to the university shine bright.
Philanthropist Thomas L. “Tommy” Williams, financier Hans W. Tews, statewide public servant and former Ocala mayor Wayne L. Rubinas, and Florida Lt. Gov. Jeffrey D. Kottkamp each received the Circle of Gold Award during FSU’s recent Homecoming festivities.
For nearly a decade and a half, the FSU Alumni Association has bestowed the prestigious award to worthy individuals who, through their service and achievements, personify the university’s tradition of excellence. With the addition of these four, 159 friends of FSU have received the award.
“To be accorded membership in this special group one has to have firmly established a persistence, a passion, a determination, that FSU is and will always be a centerpiece in their heart and mind,” said Alumni Association Chairman Tom Woodruff. “The Circle of Gold Award is a recognition that through the winner’s service, leadership and commitment, Florida State University is a far better place.”
Williams is president of the Williams Family Foundation of Georgia, Inc., one of that state’s top-giving philanthropic foundations. Known for his unassuming leadership and unwavering commitment, Williams, an Alumni Association Life Member, former member of the FSU Foundation Board of Trustees and Golden Chief, has given time and resources to the College of Business, Seven Days of Opening Nights, the College of Music, the School of Theatre and the Seminole Boosters and has provided numerous scholarships. He is a resident of Thomasville, Ga.
Tews (B.A. ’56, finance), a native of Dusseldorf, Germany, is owner of the Orlando-based staffing firm that bears his name. A multilingual scholar and veteran of the U.S. armed services, Tews forged an impressive career in banking, rising to the upper echelon of the managerial ranks of SunBank, Inc., where he played a key role in shaping that institution. From his earliest days on the FSU campus to his work on the Alumni Association’s National Alumni Board of Directors and as a Foundation Board Trustee, the 1986 FSU Outstanding Alumnus has remained an active and generous supporter of the university. Among the first to be a donor in campaigns and special drives, Tews gives his leadership, active involvement and resources in order to advance FSU.
Since leaving office as mayor of Ocala in 1989, Chicago-born Wayne L. Rubinas (B.A. ’70, political science; J.D. ’73), has served for more than a decade in Florida government, where he currently holds the position of staff director of the Florida Senate Committee on Ethics and Elections. Politically active on campus during his time as an FSU student, Rubinas was president of the Gold Key Leadership honorary, Chief Judge for the Honor Court, Student Body President, a Torchbearer and a member of the FSU baseball team. The former Omicron Delta Kappa national president from 1972-74 was the first student elected to that post in the organization’s history. An active volunteer with the Alumni Association, his extensive commitment to the university is evident in his many FSU affiliations over the years and his work as a member of the Foundation Board of Trustees and as an adjunct lecturer in the FSU College of Business and through his financial support of the university.
In 2006, Indiana-born, Cape Coral-raised Kottkamp (B.S. ’84, political science; J.D. ’87), was elected Florida’s 17th lieutenant governor after having served two terms in the Florida House of Representatives. As a legislator, he chaired the Judiciary Committee (2002-04), Governmental Operations Committee (2005), and Judiciary Appropriations Committee (2006). He has been vice chairman of the Rules and Calendar Council and Deputy Majority Whip, as well as co-chair of the Taxpayer Protection Caucus from 2002 to 2006. A familiar face and frequent visitor to FSU classrooms, Kottkamp’s dedication to higher education across the state and FSU in particular is exemplary.
Tews and Williams received their awards Oct. 26 at the awards dinner, and Rubinas and Kottkamp received theirs Oct. 28 at the Circle of Gold breakfast.