Alumna Jane Morgan (’82) has been a longtime advocate of Florida State University and its students. Embodying the sentiment “once a Nole, always a Nole,” Morgan is passionate about not only sharing her experiences and fond memories with current students and recent graduates but also financially assisting students with their higher educational goals.
“I had such a deep appreciation for what a privilege it was to be a student at Florida State, and it’s fulfilling to know I am able to lighten the worries of those well-deserving students and their families,” Morgan shared. “I didn’t have a mentor in college, so I try to be that person for the young individuals who cross my path. In turn, I trust they will one day do the same for others.”
Together with her husband George, the couple has continued to support many areas across the university landscape. Especially in their home of Sarasota, Florida, they feel fortunate to have a deep FSU connection right in their backyard with The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training and more. It wasn’t until the Morgans met FSU graduate Ky’Eisha Penn that they became familiar with another unique program to Florida State.
“[We] didn’t know much about the FSU Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement until we met Ky’Eisha at an event,” Morgan expressed. “She always promoted CARE and the support it provided first-generation college students. I particularly appreciate the upperclassmen mentorship the program provides to new students and the great deal of help they receive in navigating their personal path to a college degree.”
Jane and George have enjoyed keeping up with Ky’Eisha’s accomplishments beyond her time at FSU. After graduating in 2013, she went on to earn her master’s degree from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and her Juris Doctor degree from Howard University School of Law. Currently, Ky’Eisha is pursuing her dream of working as a civil rights attorney in Washington, D.C., and was recently featured in the New York Times report, “Their Ancestors Were Enslaved. Now They’re Lawyers.,” in the publication’s 1619 Project chronicling slavery in the United States.
Wishing to honor Ky’Eisha and her desire to help others, Jane and George decided to gift $25,000 to establish the Ky’Eisha W. Penn Scholarship for First-Generation Students, which will provide critical support for CARE and the students actively engaged in the program.
“We hope others will consider supporting CARE as it truly enhances the university as a whole,” Morgan shared on the couple’s behalf. “Ky’Eisha has a kindred spirit in her and remains one of the most gracious people we’ve ever known. George and I are both very proud to call this incredible young woman a dear friend, and we hope this scholarship becomes a way for future CARE participants to know her story.”
“When the Morgans told me they wanted to create a scholarship in my name, I was brought to tears,” Ky’Eisha expressed. “I matriculated to FSU through CARE from the inner-city of Miami. I did not come from very much, but I dreamed boundlessly, which I think they both admired and could relate to.”
Ky’Eisha also shared her gratitude towards not only Jane and George’s investment in her future but for the many CARE students who will continue to benefit from their humanitarianism.
“They have become such an integral part of my story,” she continued. “Thinking about the legacy I want to someday leave behind, I often reflect on their resilience, hard work, love and kindness. The Morgans are the gold standard, and while I’m not sure how I’ve been so lucky, I will dedicate the rest of my life to paying it forward in their honor.”
Since 1968, CARE has provided equity and access to traditionally underrepresented, first-generation students disadvantaged by virtue of educational and socioeconomic reasons. Learn more about the CARE program.