William O. Bell III and Aggie Bell’s (’69) fondness for Florida State University has transcended generations. Their three children are all Florida State graduates, and the Bell family lineage continues today through their granddaughters—one a recent College of Law graduate and the other a current junior. The Bells are thankful for the many cherished family memories they have because of FSU, from enjoying the university’s fine arts offerings to the excitement of Seminoles’ basketball and football games.
“Our family has created strong and lasting bonds through cheering on our Noles, and some of our happiest moments have been trips to bowl games and attending the football National Championship together,” Mr. Bell shared. “With our family ties spanning fifty years, we Bells have a deep and emotional connection to this great university.”
The couple has also remained steadfast in their support for FSU and the local community. Mr. Bell currently serves on the Seminole Boosters Board of Directors and previously chaired their Endowment Committee for more than 30 years. Mrs. Bell was a dedicated English teacher for more than three decades at Amos P. Godby High School in Tallahassee.
Wishing to honor his parents and their dedication to Florida State and academics, their son Bill recently gifted $50,000 to establish the William O. Bell III and Aggie Bell 1st Generation CARE Scholarship. This endowment ensures permanent support for the FSU Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement and its students.
When asked about what inspired this support, Bill stated, “I learned about CARE several years ago and was immediately drawn to its focus on first-generation college students. The transition from high school to a university setting is challenging for many but is especially trying for first-generation students who don’t have the resources or network to help them succeed. The hope is this scholarship will help promising young students to achieve their dreams of a college education and create real long-term changes in their lives.”
Established in 1968 as Horizons Unlimited, CARE operates to provide equity and access to traditionally underrepresented students disadvantaged by virtue of educational and socioeconomic reasons through resources, tools and a network of support to aid in their academic and personal development.
“First-generation students face unique challenges, and we’re glad Florida State offers this fantastic center and invaluable services, such as tutoring, mentoring and scholarship opportunities. [Financial] support can make a real difference in helping these students begin successful careers,” Bill continued.
“To have our son honor us with this scholarship in our name is deeply humbling and gratifying,” Mrs. Bell shared. “A college education changes the trajectory of a life and a family. It changes communities, and it changes a nation. There is no greater good.”
Learn more about CARE and how to support the center’s valuable work.