Skip to content

Social Science Scholars Reception

5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11 – University Center B, 5th floor

Good evening. What a pleasure it is to be here to recognize another impressive group of Social Science Scholars!

Congratulations to all of the scholars. To those in the 2014 cohort — wow! Spain, Switzerland Nepal — your work has taken you all over the globe in order to address important societal needs and make the world a better place.

And to our new scholars, I know that this program is highly competitive, and it’s clear that you are among a truly outstanding group of juniors.

As you have heard from the 2014 scholars who just spoke, you have an incredible opportunity to conduct amazing research and service projects. You have shown great promise, and I am eager to learn about your experiences when you complete your projects.

I want to commend Dean Rasmussen and the faculty of the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy for having the foresight to create this program a few years ago. And I’d like to thank our alumni, faculty and friends who have helped to support it.

Your contributions to this program are part of the university’s goals to raise funds in order to “Inspire, Engage and Transform the Next Generation of Students.” When we see this group of remarkable students, I think it is clear that we are doing that.

I’d also like to recognize John Mayo and Tom Taylor for their critical role in developing the program and for teaching the leadership seminar that allows the scholars to engage with one another and prepare for the projects they will undertake the following summer or fall.

The Social Science Scholars Program is the cornerstone of the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy’s “Get More Than A Degree” initiative, which, as you know, encourages undergraduates to study abroad, get internships and engage in research.

This emphasis on leadership and service activities that extend beyond the classroom gives students a great advantage in future studies and the world outside the university.

Our Social Science Scholars make up an exceptionally high number of the FSU students receiving national fellowship awards, Boren and Fulbright scholarships, as well as Garnet and Gold Society membership and service in student government and other organizations.

The program builds on the college’s long history of developing outstanding leaders. For example, although the college makes up only 12 percent of the student body, it has produced about half of all presidents of the FSU Student Government Association, from Gov. Reuben Askew in 1950 to our current SGA President, Stefano Cavallaro.

The college’s graduates have served in Congress and as senators, governors and CEOs of corporations. They have been active in non-profit organizations and have had distinguished academic careers.

The Social Science Scholars program reflects one of the university’s most laudable goals: To develop citizen leaders based on the concepts inscribed in our seal — Vires, Artes, Mores — or strength, skill and character.

Scholars, please remember that very generous faculty, alumni and friends of the college are funding these scholarships. In future years, I hope you will take the opportunity to help the next generation of students to have similar experiences that can inspire, engage and transform their lives.

Thank you.