The Florida State University Alumni Association recognized five distinguished alumni during the annual Alumni Awards Gala held Friday, Oct. 22. The event honored Circle of Gold Inductees and the winner of the Bernard F. Sliger Award, the highest honor awarded by the association.
“Friday night of Homecoming Week is always exciting when we get to hold our annual Awards Gala and honor those who have served and continue to serve Florida State University with such dedication,” said Julie Decker, president and CEO of the Alumni Association. “FSU alumni are loyal, passionate and involved, and these five honorees are the personification of those words. To hear these graduates speak so beautifully about their time here and their experience, makes it a night to remember.”
The FSU Alumni Association’s Circle of Gold recognizes worthy individuals who personify the university’s tradition of excellence through their service and achievements. The 2021 honorees are Kenneth M. Austin, Dr. James “Jim” Lee, Scott Wiegand, and Dr. Marilyn J. Young.
Kenneth M. Austin (B.S. ’75, M.P.A. ’79) was the first Black alumnus to serve on the FSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors. As a student, Austin was enrolled in the Horizons Unlimited Program and earned a spot on the FSU Men’s Basketball team as a non-scholarship walk-on. Austin was an original member of the FSU Speech Choir and an active member of the FSU Black Student Union. He continues to serve the FSU Black Alumni as an integral member of the planning committee for the 50th Anniversary Celebration of FSU Integration.
Dr. James “Jim” Lee (B.S. ’71) is the current chair of the Division of Undergraduate Studies Development Council. Lee was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society, Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society, the Honors Program and Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He has endowed two scholarships, funds a Presidential Scholars Award and is a Presidential Scholars ambassador.
Scott Wiegand (B.M. ’90) is the current chair of the FSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors. Wiegand earned a bachelor’s degree in music, graduated magna cum laude while minoring in law and society and was a Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society member. He is a significant donor to the university; he truly gives his time, talent and treasure.
Dr. Marilyn J. Young (B.A. ’64) is a recipient of multiple awards and honors from across campus. Young serves as Parliamentarian of the Faculty Senate, and on the Torch Awards Committee, Athletic Board and Faculty Senate Steering Committee. She established an endowment for Intercollegiate Debate and continues to serve the FSU Debate Team in multiple ways, including the organization of reunions where she encourages former debaters as far back as the 1950s to return to campus.
The Bernard F. Sliger Award, named for the 10th president of Florida State University, recognizes a member of the university community who has made a significant contribution toward the fulfillment of FSU’s mission. Ed Burr is the 2021 recipient.
Ed Burr (B.S. ’79) is president and chief executive officer of GreenPointe Holdings, LLC, a diversified holding company he founded in 2008 in Jacksonville. A longtime advocate for bettering the lives of children, Burr founded the Monique Burr Foundation for Children in 1997 in honor of his late wife. The foundation is committed to the prevention of child abuse. Burr is the former chair of the FSU Board of Trustees and has served on the FSU Foundation Board of Trustees, the Seminole Boosters Board, and the FSU Real Estate Center Executive Board in the College of Business. He was a Charles A. Bruning Distinguished Speaker at the college in fall 2016 and was inducted into the FSU Alumni Association’s Circle of Gold in 2018.
The 2022 Awards Gala will be held on Friday night of Homecoming as determined by the FSU football schedule. For more information on upcoming FSU Alumni Association events, visit alumni.fsu.edu/community/events.