Distinguished Alum Award
This award recognizes a Florida State University law school graduate who is distinguished professionally and who has rendered outstanding service to the community as well as to our College of Law. Factors considered in selecting the winner include: professional distinction; good citizenship; and significant contributions benefiting the community, state and nation.
The Honorable Stephanie Williams Ray (’95) of Tallahassee, Florida.
Judge Ray currently serves as a judge on Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. She began her career as an attorney for Ausley & McMullen, P.A. Judge Ray then moved to the FSU College of Law where she held multiple positions, including director of the Placement Office, assistant dean for academic affairs, associate dean for administration, and assistant dean for development. Immediately prior to her appointment to the 1st DCA, Judge Ray served as chair for the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission. She has won The Florida Bar Labor and Employment Law Section Volunteer of the Year Award four times. Judge Ray teaches Florida Constitutional Law as an adjunct professor, is a coach for the FSU Law Moot Court Team, and gives generously of her time to many other law school programs and initiatives. She is a past president of the law school’s Alumni Association and is a current member of the Board’s judicial section.
Alumni Association Service Award
This award recognizes a Florida State University law school graduate who has rendered distinguished service to our College of Law over an extended period of time.
F. Philip Blank (’75) of Tallahassee, Florida.
Philip Blank is currently of counsel at GrayRobinson’s Tallahassee office. Early in his career, Phil spent more than six years with the Florida House of Representatives and was its first full-time general counsel. He also served as staff counsel to numerous House committees. Phil directed the largest investigation of state agencies ever conducted by the Florida House of Representatives. He also served as general counsel to the Florida Patients’ Compensation Fund, recovering in excess of $110 million in less than 12 months. Phil helped establish the Florida Prepaid College Program and served as its general counsel for over 20 years. He has helped the law school in many ways, and is particularly supportive of the law school’s student chapter of the Cuban American Bar Association. Phil is a current member of the law school’s Board of Visitors and is a major donor to the law school. He and his wife, Rita, created the Blank-Miller Scholarship.
Class of ’66 Award
This award recognizes a non-Florida State University College of Law graduate who has rendered distinguished service to our law school and to the community. Each recipient is inducted into the Class of 1966 to commemorate the year that the Florida State University College of Law opened its doors.
Dave Powell of Tallahassee, Florida.
Dave Powell graduated with honors from University of Texas Law School and received an LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law. He joined the FSU College of Law faculty in 1973 and taught Property, Estate and Gift Tax, Gratuitous Transfers and Estate Planning. Dave is co-author of Bridging the Gap: Drafting for Tax and Administration Issues. He has received numerous teaching awards and is an academic fellow on the American College on Trust and Estate Counsel. Dave currently teaches Gratuitous Transfers as an adjunct professor.