FSU Foundation

FSU College of Education alumna gifts endowed scholarship for future teachers

Adrienne Cohen swings on an outdoor swing hovering above a green lawn

Former special education teacher Adrienne Cohen enjoys retirement but still stays active in the lives of students in Sarasota.

Florida State University alumna and former special education teacher Adrienne Cohen (’75) has included FSU as a percent beneficiary in her estate to benefit future teachers through the Adrienne J. Cohen Endowed Scholarship.

Providing much-need support to College of Education students, this scholarship will serve as a lasting tribute to Cohen, who received her Special Education certification from the college. Current students can take advantage of the Special Education combined bachelor’s and master’s pathway that allows them to obtain both degrees in tandem and fast-track their careers.  

“We are grateful for Adrienne’s continued love and support of Florida State and the College of Education,” said Dr. Damon Andrew, dean of the College of Education. “Her devotion to her students throughout her more than three-decade-long career is admirable and something we hope all of our future teachers possess.” 

Cohen shared that she knew from age nine that she wanted to be a special education teacher after witnessing the positive effect it had on one of her school friends.

“Seeing teachers that genuinely cared about my friend and her education profoundly affected how I saw education as a whole,” said Cohen. “I knew from that moment on that with the proper teachers in place, children could excel no matter their disabilities or handicaps.”

One of the most rewarding and needed careers, special education teachers provide not only support to students but also understanding. Oftentimes, students need teachers to meet them where they are, and special education teachers are uniquely trained to do just that.

Cohen knew FSU was the place for her when she stepped on campus for the first time, and she still has a great appreciation and love for the university and Tallahassee. She credits the experiences and education she received through the clinical teaching model at Florida State for her success.

“Recently, one of my former students came to thank me for teaching him to read,” said Cohen. “He said that because of my support, he’s been able to succeed in life and now care for his grandmother, who took care of him while he was in school.” 

While she has retired from teaching, Cohen doesn’t let it stop her from fulfilling her life’s purpose— helping children get the best education possible, no matter their differences. She currently volunteers with different schools in Sarasota, tutoring students of all learning styles and working with her temple’s children’s ministry.

Thankful to FSU for giving her a career she treasured, this gift is more than just numbers on a page; Cohen hopes to inspire the next generation of special education teachers.

You too can support your favorite FSU program or cause through an estate gift. Learn how by visiting fsu.planmygift.org. You can also contact the Office of Gift & Estate Planning team directly at giftplanning@foundation.fsu.edu or (850) 644-0753.