SFSC President’s Gala and Charity Auction
The South Florida State College Foundation, Inc. held its 29th Annual Meeting and President’s Gala April 27 at the Hotel Jacaranda.
The Gala celebrated Dr. Norm Stephens’ 11th year as South Florida State College’s president, as he will retire from the college on June 30. During his tenure, the college opened the DeSoto and Hardee campuses; the college remodeled and renovated the SFSC Theatre for the Performing Arts, and constructed the Dr. Norman L. Stephens Jr. Health and Science Education Center and Dental Education facility; achieved national recognition, when it became a finalist for the aspen prize twice; and transitioned to a four-year baccalaureate degree-granting institution.
According to Don Appelquist, executive director, SFSC Foundation, Inc., “Our college Foundation’s Gala is always fun, but this year it was particularly enjoyable and a spectacular success. That we were devoting the proceeds to an endowment named in honor of our retiring president, Dr. Norm Stephens, no doubt helped to account for the large turnout. The camaraderie was engaging, the gourmet meal delightful, and the program most entertaining. Everyone seemed to have a great time.”
Developmental mathematics instructor Cheryl John was the 2013 recipient of the Carol J. Emery Endowed Chair in Mathematics.
“Cheryl’s Endowed Chair project is related to her current efforts to redesign developmental mathematics courses,” said Dr. Kimberly Batty-Herbert, dean, Arts and Sciences. “The state has interest in redefining the way in which colleges provide remediation to students who need to advance their college readiness in math, reading, and writing.”
“Following her summer redesign of both levels of developmental mathematics, she will visit another institution of higher education that has experienced success in this area,” Dr. Batty-Herbert said. “Cheryl will then construct and conduct multiple workshops for her fellow developmental faculty members sharing best practices and redesign strategies. In this way Cheryl will positively impact the entire academic foundations department, not just mathematics.”
John will receive a $5000 endowment awarded over a period of two years. Selection of the honoree is highly competitive within the department and is jointly made by a selection committee. The selection must then be certified by SFSC President Dr. Norm Stephens.
“I am appreciative of this award,” John said. “Developmental mathematics is important, and I am happy to help shape these courses at South Florida State College.”
“These teaching chairs, math as well as nursing and dental education, allow us to recognize and reward excellence in teaching by SFSC faculty,” Don Appelquist said. “We are working to fund teaching chairs in as many disciplines as possible at SFSC.”
The evening started off with a silent auction of items from local individuals and businesses with musical interlude by Doug Andrews, dean, SFSC Cultural Programs. During the meeting, the board elected and welcomed two new directors for three-year terms, Paul Seusy and Tim Texley.
The proceeds from the evening’s auction, ticket sales, and associated pledges approximately totaled $59,000 towards the Dr. Norman L. Stephens Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund.
Each year, the SFSC Foundation, Inc. conducts its annual meeting during the banquet and raises money for student scholarships. Last year the foundation awarded over $425,000 in scholarships.