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Remembering Florida State legend Tommie Wright


It was a privilege over these past six years to have Tommie Wright serve in his retirement as our alumni association ambassador, a well-deserved curtain call for which all alumni have been grateful. No one in history touched the lives of more FSU alumni than Tommie Wright. But beyond the numbers - 58,000 students over 59 years - is the grace with which he carried his celebrity. It was magical to watch alumni eyes light up when he played the 'FSU Fight Song' at our events; magical to watch the care with which he interacted with fans; and just as magical when he would stop by my office to ask how my family was doing.

Tonight we're thinking of his family, and the FSU family, which has lost a legend. Thank you and God speed, Tommie Wright. At the battle's end, he's great.

In Seminole Spirit,

Scott Atwell

President and CEO

FSU Alumni Association

Former professor Tommie Wright received an honorary doctorate of music during Florida State University's summer 2013 commencement. Wright composed the music to the FSU Fight Song in 1950 to accompany a student's poem that he read in the Florida Flambeau. Almost 62 years later, he led a new generation of Seminoles in the familiar tune, stating, “Graduates, you'll be happy to know that I'm not going to give you a long speech this morning,” before delivering the only keynote address in university history to actually involve both keys and notes.

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