From students to devoted alumni, Jeffrey (’81, J.D. ’84) and Agnes Stoops (’82, MSW ’83) have a long history of advocating for Florida State University that can only be described as ambition turned into action.
“We spent five wonderful years in Tallahassee and have remained big supporters of all things FSU,” the Stoops, who have four FSU degrees between them, shared. “We understand the good that can be done, one person at a time, and the satisfaction helping others can bring. We would be very pleased to, in any way, have played some small role in leaving FSU a better place than how we found it.”
Together, the Stoops have built a philanthropic legacy at Florida State by means of both time and treasure. They remain active members of Seminole Boosters and the FSU Alumni Association; Mrs. Stoops currently serves on the FSU Foundation Board of Trustees; and through Stoops Family Foundation, Inc., their private nonprofit, the couple has been honored at the Sapphire level within Vires, Artes, Mores—recognizing their positive and lasting impact on the Florida State University community.
Their dedication and support can be found across many of the university’s academic and athletic initiatives—including the FSU College of Law.
“Our hope has always been to help expand the business law curriculum, faculty and reputation so more students may pursue the same opportunities I’ve been able to experience in private practice and the almost 25 years I’ve now been with SBA Communications Corporation,” Mr. Stoops shared on the couple’s behalf. “I would not be running SBA Communications Corporation today If not for my law degree [from FSU].”
With this focus in mind, the foundation recently pledged a generous $1 million gift to establish the Stoops Center for Law and Business, helping to further leverage the college’s current strengths to become a nexus of thought leadership and training in business law and compliance for academics, students, lawyers and business professionals.
“We want to be a trusted and respected partner in the business community,” the Stoops expressed when speaking on their optimism for the center and its future within both the university and business community. “The Stoops Center for Law and Business will provide faculty with the administrative support and resources to allow thorough development of ideas and research. It will also facilitate such activities as establishing certification programs, commercializing executive education and creating more experiences for students interested in business law by establishing relationships within the private sector.”
Erin O’Hara O’Connor, dean of the FSU College of Law, shared her gratitude for the Stoops’ generosity. “The College of Law and Florida State are appreciative of the Stoops’ family and their confidence in our goal of becoming one of the nation’s preeminent business law schools,” she said. “This important addition to the law school is sure to increase the reputation of FSU Law and our students on a national scale. We anticipate the exposure of our students to the sophisticated professionals and elite academics who utilize the center will lead to meaningful mentorships and jobs.”
Through their various philanthropic endeavors, though, the Stoops simply aspire to encourage a positive cycle of a “pay it back” mentality, sharing, “We have found that supporting students leaves a lasting impression, encouraging them to think about how they will and can help others in the future. It really motivates students to do their best.”
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