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FSU FACULTY SENATE PRESENTS TORCH AWARDS TO FOUR
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida State University Faculty Senate has honored four individuals for their contributions to the university’s academic excellence with awards named for the three torches in the university’s seal: Vires, Artes and Mores.
Faculty Senate President Sandra Lewis presented the Torch Awards to Stella Cottrell, Lynda Keever, Fred Leysieffer and Marilyn J. Young during the Fall Meeting of theGeneral Faculty on Oct. 24. The Torch Awards were established in 1996 as a way for faculty to honor friends of Florida State who have contributed significantly to the university’s ability to fulfill its academic mission.
“Our university is both proud and fortunate to count these four remarkable individuals as friends,” Lewis said. “Strength, skill and character are the ideals that we aspire to at Florida State University, and the Faculty Senate is honored to present this year’s Torch Awards to four leaders who embody these attributes.”
This year, two individuals — Leysieffer and Young — were selected to receive the Vires Award, symbolizing moral, physical and intellectual strength. Both are longtime FSU faculty members and administrators whose contributions in and outside of the classroom are legion.
Leysiefferjoined the Florida State faculty in the Department of Statistics in 1964 and now holds the title of professor emeritus. But in recent years, he is perhaps better known for his various roles as a highly respected administrator.
Long active in the Faculty Senate, Leysieffer served as Senate president from 1992 to 1994 and thereafter continued to work on behalf of the faculty through aprogression of academic administrative positions. From 1994 to 1997 he served as associate dean and then acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. From 1997 to 2003 he served as assistant vice president, then associate vice president for Academic Affairs. It was during this time that he acquired a reputation as the “go to” person in the provost’s office for coming up with solutions to difficult problems.
Although he officially retired in 2003, Leysieffer soon found a new role to play at the university. He was tapped by then-Vice President Kirby Kemper to serve the Office of Research, where he has worked with the Research Foundation to orchestrate the construction of several research facilities on Florida State’s Southwest Campus. His legacy can be seen in the Materials Research Building as well as the Aero-Propulsion, Mechatronics and Energy Building.
Young came to FSU in 1972 to assume a faculty position in the College of Communication. She acquired a reputation as a pre-eminent scholar, authoring five books and numerous scholarly essays and book titles. She also served for 13 years as the university’s debate coach and director of forensics.
In various administrative roles, Young has been a strong advocate for her fellow faculty members and the university. She served as chair of the Department of Communication and was very active with the Faculty Senate, where she served two terms as president. Young also served on three presidential search committees and headed up major ad hoc university committees under two presidents.
Young now holds the title of Wayne C. Minnick Professor of Communication Emerita. In retirement, she is an active member of the Association of Retired Faculty and serves as parliamentarian for the Faculty Senate.
The Artes Award, symbolizing appreciation of aesthetics and the beauty of intellectual pursuits, went to Keever, a Florida State alumna with a long record of service both to her alma mater and the state of Florida.
In 1991, Keever was named the first woman publisher of the monthly business magazine FloridaTrend, a position she held until stepping down in 2009. As publisher, she advanced the visibility of Florida State University and its faculty by having FSU become the first state university to have a four-page display advertisement in the magazine. She followed that up by shrink-wrapping a copy of FSU’s Research in Review publication with issues of Florida Trend, allowing news about Florida State faculty research to be read by every subscriber.
Keever, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1969, has been recognized as the College of Social Sciences’ Alumna of the Year in 2002, and as a Grad Made Good by Omicron Delta Kappa honor society in 2002. In 2001, the Florida Commission on Women inducted Keever into its Hall of Fame.
She has served on the FSU Foundation’s Board of Trustees and currently serves as a member of Enterprise Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the board of the Collins Center for Public Policy and the Florida Council of Economic Education, to name a few of her involvements.
An FSU alumna who has remained highly engaged in university activities, Cottrell was named the recipient of the Mores Award, symbolizing respect for customs, character and tradition.
A 1971 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, Cottrell received more than an education at Florida State — she also met her husband, Raymond, there. Later, while he pursued a medical career, she worked as a teacher of French, social studies and music for 12 years in Texas and Florida. She next parlayed her love of music into a 25-year career at Walt Disney World,where she worked in the entertainment division as a rehearsal accompanist, as well as a pianist for the theme park’s Magic Music Days and Candlelight Processional Christmas shows. Cottrell currently serves on the music staff of Tallahassee’s Bradfordville First Baptist Church.
Cottrell is a lifetime member of the FSU Alumni Association, and she and her husband are also active Seminole Boosters. They have given back to their alma mater in numerous ways, including funding theestablishment of the Cottrell Family Professorship in Chemistry and the Stella and Raymond Cottrell Endowed Professorship within the Department of Psychology.
Cottrell is a founding member of Women for Florida State University and is the current chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Council. She also serves as the alumni representative on the Oglesby Union Board and is a former member of the FSU Foundation Board of Trustees,where she was a member of the Donor Stewardship and Trusteeship committees.