Modern Languages - French
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Ada Belle Winthrop-King


Ada Belle "Pat" Winthrop-King was a scholar, a bilingual foreign language teacher, a stock market wizard and a woman devoted to her family and Florida State University. She was committed to helping students enrich themselves and meet their goals.

Born in 1900 in the small town of Lyons, Georgia, Winthrop-King came to Tallahassee in 1928 to teach Spanish and French at Florida State College for Women. She taught at two different times until 1938. After earning a master's degree at Vanderbilt University, she went to Paris on a scholarship and studied at the Sorbonne. She went back every year after that, falling in love with the city during one of its most exciting periods of art and literature.

Along with her love of FSU, her devotion to the romantic city is the reason she established the Ada Belle Winthrop-King Endowed Memorial Fund to be used in FSU's Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences. She gave the university $8 million for the endowment before her death and a state match brings the total to $16 million. Most of the endowment is used for student scholarships so others may experience France much as Winthrop-King did almost 70 years ago. Her gift also included a $1 million endowment for the Appleton Museum of Art in the School of Visual Arts and Dance in Ocala.

In July 1991, she received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from FSU. In 1989, the French government bestowed on her the rank of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, one of the most prestigious honors given by the French government to a foreign citizen.


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