Added to the Unconquered Campaign in late 2019, the Renaissance is a focused effort by the entire university to raise commitments to support the transition to Coach Mike Norvell's football staff. Select donors were asked by President John Thrasher to ask for their consideration in being one of 20 donors to commit $1 million.
To date, over $12 million is pledged in support of this effort. This will play a key role in funding the hiring of Coach Norvell’s staff while not negatively impacting the pursuit of comprehensive excellence for our other 19 sports.
A second phase of the Renaissance Campaign was launched also in 2019 with a focus on increased annual giving. It is serving as an important part of Seminole Boosters’ ability to meet its financial obligations during the 2019-20 fiscal year. To date, annual fund donors from 2019 have increased by their commitment for 2020 by over $670,000.
Al and Judy Dunlap of Ocala Commit $20 Million to Florida State University Athletics as the Lead Gift for the Unconquered Campaign
October 27, 2018
Tallahassee, FL – Florida State University, the Florida State Department of Athletics and Seminole Boosters, Inc., announce a new commitment of $20 million from Al and Judy Dunlap of Ocala, FL as the lead gift for the Unconquered Campaign.
Prior to this most recent gift, Al and Judy Dunlap have provided Florida State University in excess of $20 million in philanthropic gifts including the Albert J. and Judith A. Dunlap Student Success Center, the Al Dunlap Football Practice Fields, the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Training Facility, the Albert J. and Judith A. Dunlap Champions Club.
Now, with this new gift of $20 million, their lifetime commitment of current assets to FSU exceeds $40 million.
The most-recent gift from Al and Judy Dunlap will be put toward an investment in football operations. In recognition of the Dunlaps' generosity, FSU Athletics and Seminole Boosters, Inc. will name the forthcoming football operations project the Albert J. and Judith A. Dunlap Football Center (abbreviated Dunlap Football Center).
"College football and college athletics in general is a competitive landscape," said Al Dunlap. "I'm a competitive guy. My wife, Judy, and I identified immediately with this football operations facility concept when it was first presented to us back in late August. It's not just about being competitive – it's about staying competitive. That's who we are. We want FSU's student-athletes to have the very best and equip them with opportunities to achieve on the highest levels possible on and off the field. They make us proud with their effort and resolve."
"Al and Judy have demonstrated time after time their willingness to invest in all students at FSU, not just student athletes," said interim Athletics Director David Coburn. "Their commitment to the Dunlap Student Success Building is the most obvious example. Clearly, the Athletics Department and all of our student-athletes deeply appreciate this particularly generous gift, which comes on top of the many other gifts they have made to FSU and to Athletics."
Dunlap later expounded on his and his wife's motivation related to competition.
"Judy and I wanted to send a message loud and clear that this program will meet any challenge. Anyone doubting FSU Football's commitment to be a top contender in all facets of the game has another thing coming."
Dunlap said first-year Head Football Coach Willie Taggart's recent action only further cemented in his and Judy's minds that they had made the right decision.
"We had already inked the deal back on August 29 but we decided to keep it a secret so that we could give the Unconquered Campaign launch appropriate space and time to permeate," Al said. "We had no idea that, only three days later, Coach Taggart and his wife, Taneshia, would step up with a million-dollar commitment like that. To me, that showed incredible leadership. That is evidenced by the fact some anonymous donor matched it the other day."
Dunlap said he loved seeing the anonymous gift.
"I just told Coach that, actually," he said of a recent visit with Taggart. "Judy and I visited with him a few days before the game and we got to tell him about our commitment in person. He knew we were in his corner and were going to help him, but I made him guess how much we would help. He started with a million. I shook my head and told him to go up higher. He kept guessing – his face looking more and more surprised and confused with each hike – until I finally told him we were doing $20 million. He responded by showing us the goosebumps on his forearms – multiple times, I should add."
It was a special moment for Al and Judy and for Taggart too.
"I respect him a great deal and spending time with him reminds me of being with my old teammates," said Al, who played high school football in New Jersey and then college ball at West Point. "He was put in a tough position when he took over. I know what that's like – believe me. We are blessed to have him leading our young men and representing our University."
With this most recent gift, Dunlap hopes to motivate others to do their part.
"Whether you can give $10 or $10 million, you must give. I promise you that FSU Athletics – all 20 varsity sports – are worth your investment," Dunlap said. "Please support the Unconquered Campaign in whatever way you can."
"The Dunlaps have always appreciated and understood the role of leadership and have always been eager and willing to embrace it as did Coach Taggart and his wife Taneshia," said Andy Miller, CEO and President of Seminole Boosters, Inc. "Their leadership gifts are instrumental in our ability to launch this very ambitious campaign. Their gift is also a call to all Seminoles to consider what they are willing and able to donate to help advance Florida State University, its Athletics Department and hundreds of deserving men's and women's student-athletes."
The Unconquered Campaign, which is a joint initiative of Florida State University, the Department of Athletics and Seminole Boosters, Inc., will run through June 30, 2022. In addition to the football facility, the Campaign seeks funding for other athletics facilities to benefit the men's and women's teams including a Nicklaus designed golf course, completion of basketball player's lounges, expansion of the Dick Howser baseball complex and enhancements to the Moore Athletics Center for all sports.
A West Point graduate, Al Dunlap is an internationally known retired business executive and served as chairman and/or CEO of nine major corporations including Scott Paper Company and Crown Zellerbach Corp.
Each hold honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters from Florida State University. Al Dunlap serves on the Seminole Boosters, Inc. Board of Directors and Judy recently completed a two-year term on the FSU Athletics Board.
The couple received the 2015 George Langford Award from Seminole Boosters, Inc. recognizing their extraordinary leadership in the area of philanthropy benefitting Seminole Athletics and Florida State University. Al Dunlap also received the Godfrey Smith Award from Seminole Boosters, Inc. in 2017 for outstanding leadership and contribution to the Seminole Boosters, Inc. Board of Directors.
Doug Russell, 2018 Chairman of the Board Seminole Boosters, Inc.
"When I think of Al and Judy Dunlap, I think of a wonderful couple who are consistently faithful and generous to Florida State University and Seminole Boosters."
Nylah Thompson, Co-Chairman of the Unconquered Campaign and a past chairman of the Seminole Boosters, Inc. Board of Directors
"It has been an incredible honor to get to know Al and Judy Dunlap. They have become an important part of FSU history. They have given so many gifts of financial support and, just as importantly, they have given us another very precious commodity – their time. It is with great pride that I salute my friends Al and Judy Dunlap for this most recent and impressive gift to the Boosters."
John Crowe, Co-Chairman of the Unconquered Campaign, Treasurer of Seminole Boosters, Inc. and 1991 FSU Football Hall of Fame inductee.
"I appreciate the Dunlaps' significant gift and passion for FSU and our student-athletes! Their gift is a tremendous boost to the Unconquered Campaign and their leadership will inspire others to follow. As a Co-Chair for the Unconquered Campaign, I am all smiles and confident the Campaign will be a success. As always, we can count on the Dunlaps!"