Across campus this past weekend, on Jan. 22-24, students were seen everywhere celebrating Florida State University's 170-year anniversary from its establishment as a seminary in 1851.
Known originally as the West Florida Seminar, FSU did not become the Florida State College for Women until 1905. It stayed that way until May 15, 1947 when the college officially became known as Florida State University and started accepting all genders.
To celebrate 170 years of success, multiple organizations across campus held socially-distanced events and activities that students could participate in to learn more about FSU and commemorate its history. Students were encouraged to post about what makes FSU special to them, and to share favorite memories as well as dress in garnet and gold for the weekend.
“My favorite part about Florida State University is the community. There are so many wonderful, caring people here. We started FSU Birthday to honor all of the students, faculty, and staff members that make FSU special and feel like home. While COVID-19 has definitely changed our celebration plans, we decided that we wouldn’t let that stop us—what better time than now to celebrate the FSU Family?” said Alison Leach Hughes, director of NSFP.
Students gathered on Landis Green despite the rain and “Happy Birthday FSU” t-shirts were given out by NSFP. The event also included cannons that shot garnet and gold confetti into the air.
Saturday brought self-guided tours of the campus which were organized by the Division of Student Affairs and FSU Homecoming. The tours stopped at places that some students may not be aware of due to COVID-19, such as the commons courtyard or the Leach Center.
At the FSU v. Clemson men's basketball game, NSFP gave out more shirts and a Happy Birthday performance by Seminole Sound was featured during halftime.
The surrounding FSU community also got involved to celebrate FSU's birthday, and multiple restaurants created deals for FSU students. SO-DOUGH offered a buy one get one free donut deal, and Centrale offered a large pizza with your purchase if FSU’s birthday was mentioned. Madison Social provided a free BLT dip (an FSU student favorite) and Township offered free pretzels, all in celebration of 170 years.
“One of the best things about FSU's birthday celebration is that it seems to bring out the best in FSU," said Pearson, the assistant director of NSFP. "It's a sense of excitement that isn't tied to a sports event or a particular club or organization. It’s a genuine celebration of what unites us all — being a member of the FSU community, and that sense of camaraderie is really needed during this time."