Hurricane Irma: A Message from President John Thrasher

Dear FSU Family,

Now that the threat of Hurricane Irma is behind us, we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the storm did not cause the kind of damage to our main campus that we had prepared for. Instead, we can reflect on our many blessings as we extend our support and sympathy to our campuses in South Florida and the state’s higher education institutions and communities that did not fare as well. We also still hold the people of Texas in our thoughts and prayers as they continue to recover and rebuild after Hurricane Harvey last month.

It’s times like these when we realize just how much we have to be grateful for. I knew that Florida State was a special place when I arrived on campus as a freshman many years ago, and I’ve been reminded of it again and again over the years. The way our FSU family pulled together before, during and after this storm is just the latest example.

Every day the staff goes to work to make FSU one of the best universities in the nation, and during circumstances such as these, they really become unsung heroes — many of them literally working around the clock to keep the campus safe, comfortable and informed. There are too many departments and people to name specifically, but I must mention a few. Vice President Kyle Clark and his entire team, including Chief David Perry and our FSU Police Department and Emergency Management Team, Facilities, Seminole Dining and our partners at Sodexo; Vice President for Student Affairs Amy Hecht and her entire team, including Housing and Residence Life; and Assistant Vice President for University Communications Browning Brooks and her team really went above and beyond the call of duty. Working with offices across campus, these departments were prepared to implement a multiday recovery operation if needed. Wonderful partners, such as Spiewak Uniforms, Coca Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Mobile Communications, Grainger and the University Center Club helped provide for our campus community.

In addition, our faculty and our students and their families were patient and flexible in ever-changing conditions. We saw many students pitch in to help their peers, and our student-athletes volunteered to serve dinner at our free Monday night cookout at the Dunlap Champions Club. We have the best alumni in the country, and they also offered their support. Finally, we recognize that cooperation is imperative always but especially in times of potential crisis. We appreciate our strong working relationships with the City of Tallahassee and Leon County.

Now that we have weathered this storm, we can get back to work even stronger than before as we celebrate our continued upward movement in the national academic rankings. Today, U.S. News and World Report announced that we are the 33rd best public university in the country. We jumped 10 places in the rankings in just two years. We could not have achieved this level of success in such a short time without the concerted effort of everyone connected to Florida State University. Thank you for your role in helping us reach this important benchmark. Once again, I’m proud to call all of you members of my FSU family!


John Thrasher