Florida State University celebrates Heritage Day 2009

From the dedication of a new reading room at Strozier Library to tours of renovated historic residence halls, an introduction of new museum space and the dedication of a memorial to Florida State’s fourth president, events will spread across the Florida State University campus Feb. 20-21 to celebrate Heritage Day 2009.

Special gatherings are planned for young alumni, emeritus groups, students, staff, faculty and the local community.

The celebration begins on Friday, Feb. 20, at 4 p.m. with the dedication of the Mary Lou Norwood Reading Room at Strozier Library. Alumna Mary Lou Norwood (B.A. ’47), will be remembered for the tireless way that she gave of her time and talents over the decades to many aspects of the institution.

Among Norwood’s many passions was her dedication to an initiative to maintain and celebrate Florida State’s proud history. Working with faculty, staff and alumni, personnel of the Heritage Protocol are finding and identifying historical memorabilia for an online museum and tool for researchers.

In an effort to keep memories alive from all generations who have passed through Florida State, a stroll down Legacy Walk will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21, at the front of the Westcott Building and honor the family of Francis Eppes, acknowledged as a founding father of the institution.

The celebration will continue with the unveiling of a statue of Edward Conradi, who served as the institution’s fourth president from 1909 to 1941. The walk will pause at Dodd Hall to hear future plans for the Werkmeister Humanities Reading Room, which is to be transformed into a museum about the history of Florida State.

Next, the lawn and gardens along Jefferson Street will be celebrated as the University’s Greek Park, a place where sororities and fraternities will be encouraged to take on private beautification projects in honor of their houses.

"The idea of the Greek Park is to preserve and enhance a green space on a campus with limited green space," said Donna McHugh, assistant vice president for Community Relations. "With the support of sororities and fraternities, the area between Landis Hall and Jefferson Street will becoming a welcoming haven in a historically significant area of our campus. The Chi Omega sorority kicked off the creation of the Greek Park with their generous gift of the ‘Three Sisters’ statue and plaza, which was unveiled during the organization’s centennial celebration."

In addition, the university will celebrate the completion of renovations to its seven historic residence halls, and students who lived in the halls are invited to attend. The 15-year project, which modernized the interiors of the buildings while retaining their original facades, began with Jennie Murphree Hall in 1992 and concluded with Landis Hall in 2006. Entertainment and a reception will be held inside Cawthon Hall featuring students from Cawthon’s Music Living-Learning Community, and campus tours for interested parties will conclude the afternoon.