Florida's chief financial officer
guests at Florida Lecture Series
LAKELAND, Fla. (Oct. 1, 2004) - Florida Southern College's Center for Florida History welcomes Tom Gallagher, Florida's chief financial officer, to the Florida Lecture Series Oct. 14. Gallagher will discuss "Reflections of the Republican Party in Florida Over the Past 30 Years." The Robert W. and Susan E. McKnight Political Affairs Lecture will start at 7 p.m. in the William M. Hollis Seminar Room on campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.
A native of Wilmington, Del., and graduate of the University of Miami, Gallagher was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1974. In 1986, he made an unsuccessful bid for governor and then, after two years in the mortgage business, ran successfully to become Florida's 21st Insurance Commissioner and Treasurer. During the 1990s, Gallagher was re-elected to the Florida cabinet, serving as Education Commissioner (1998-2000), and again as Insurance Commissioner and Treasurer in 2000. In 2003, he was sworn in as Florida's first chief financial officer. In this newly created cabinet post, his responsibilities include overseeing the state's fiscal health, auditing state programs, and monitoring insurance company operations in the state. Gallagher is married to Laura Wilson, a sixth generation Floridian, and they have one son.
This is the second year of the McKnight endowed lecture, which emphasizes securing distinguished speakers with unique experiences in Florida politics and public policy. Robert W. McKnight, a Florida Southern graduate, served in the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate. He currently serves as senior vice president and principal of Fringe Benefits Management Company in Tallahassee. McKnight has been a member of the FSC Board of Trustees since 1996 and was awarded the college's Alumni Achievement Award in 1995.
Susan E. McKnight is a 1968 Auburn University graduate with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. She teaches kindergarten at Epiphany Lutheran School and has served on the school board of Timberlane Church of Christ School in Tallahassee. McKnight has been active in community affairs and has won numerous awards for her church service.
About the Florida Lecture Series
The Florida Lecture Series is produced by the Center for Florida History and sponsored by the FSC Alumni Association, the Robert and Rose Stahl Criminology Lecture Series, and the Robert W. and Susan E. McKnight Political Affairs Lecture Series. The program brings speakers to the Lakeland campus who approach the issue of "Florida Life and Culture" from a wide range of disciplines, including history, public affairs, law, sociology, criminology, anthropology, literature, music and art. Its overall objective is to create an opportunity for members of the community, faculty, and student body to listen to, interact with and learn from leading scholars and specialists of the state's history and culture.
About Florida Southern College
Founded in 1885, Florida Southern College is a private, comprehensive United Methodist college with a liberal arts core. The college maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 38 undergraduate majors and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, and nursing. Florida Southern has a 14:1 student/faculty ratio, provides strong student/faculty mentorship programs, boasts 24 NCAA Division II national championships, and is ranked by U. S. News and World Report as one of the top ten Southern Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelors. Located on scenic Lake Hollingsworth, Florida Southern is the home of the world's largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.