Generous Alumni Help Build New Memories for FSU Students

jim and Kelly Flannery at FSU Events

When passing by Woodward Avenue, excitement looms as the framework of the new Student Union at Florida State University begins to take shape. Scheduled to be completed in 2021, one can already feel the bustle of students and activities soon to be a commonplace around the structure.

Fond memories across FSU’s campus resonate with alumni Jim and Kelly Flannery (’05 and ’02). When asked about their time at Florida State, they recall engaging in various organizations, watching Seminole football, volunteering with local philanthropies and, of course, meeting friends along the way. The couple stated, “For the both of us, the best part of attending Florida State was the lifelong friendships we made. We [remember] looking around the room at our wedding and almost every friend we had met at FSU.”

Dedicated to ensuring generations of students can have exceptional collegiate experiences much like their own, the Flannerys' recently committed $50,000 to establish the Jim and Kelly Flannery Student Life Project Room within Florida State’s new Student Union. As a member of the Student Affairs Development Council, Kelly has followed the progress of the new union from inception and expressed the couple’s enthusiasm for the facility’s impact on the FSU community.

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, and we believe they should have a safe and welcoming environment to learn, collaborate and create,” the couple said. “We cannot think of a better investment to make, as the new union is sure to be a place where many memories are made, and we’re honored to be a part of it.”  

“Student success isn’t solely defined by accomplishments within a classroom, and building a union equipped to further enhance the opportunities and services we offer our university community is crucial to cultivating enduring connections,” Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Amy Hecht shared. “Through their time and generosity, the Flannerys’ exemplify how the FSU experience stays with you for a lifetime, and I’m grateful to have their support.”

The original union building opened in 1952 when the university maintained an enrollment of fewer than 5,000 students. To support the needs for the more than 40,000 students FSU serves today, improving the functionality of the space was imperative. 

Once complete, the 275,000-square-foot facility will host students, organizations, alumni and guests through four levels of meeting and engagement space, up-to-date technology, expanded dining and retail options, including a new bookstore, and much more. The Student Union will also centrally house long-time campus favorites such as Crenshaw Lanes, Club Downunder and Market Wednesdays.

Visit the Division of Students Affairs to learn more about how you can support the Student Union project. If you have any questions, please contact Director of Development Sarah Collins at (850) 445-8778.