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Flagler College - An Unparalleled Value

Alumni & College Supporters

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Lisa Wallenda Picard

I'm a 1992 graduate of Flagler College and am heartsick at the recent news about the inflation of incoming class rankings. I don't understand why the former VP felt this action was necessary — Flagler enjoys an excellent reputation and a loyal alumni network.  Even in my current location outside of Washington DC, Flagler is well known and respected. This senseless act is going to have a negative impact on the college simply because it is a complicated thing to explain, even though it has no affect on the excellent instruction offered or the integrity of degrees awarded. I am fully confident in Dr. Abare's leadership and his immediate and transparent response is to be commended.

Diane and Ingemar Lanevi

Dear President Abare,

We were saddened to hear of the incident with the admissions data.  Please know that you have our continued full support and we love our alma mater no less. You and others have done extraordinary things at Flagler and will continue to do so. 

We remain faithful and proud alumni. We also will fulfill our pledge to the solarium, as well as continue our annual scholarship funding. The college also will remain in our trust/planned giving. 

You have our unmitigated support and commitment, both as alumni and as friends.

All my best,
Diane (and Ingemar) Lanevi

Jessica Talbert

My name is Jessica Talbert and I am a 2004 graduate of Flagler College.  I wanted to contact you to provide you with my views on the recent controversy with Flagler College. 

Nearly ten years after graduating from Flagler College, I have also graduated from a top tier law school, successfully passed the Florida Bar, and am now a staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives.  As I reflect back on my time spent in St. Augustine, I firmly believe that the quality and rigor of my Flagler education has been a significant factor in my professional and educational successes.  I would not be where I am today without Flagler's faculty, administrators, and alumni. As a Flagler alumna, I am proud of the major advancements, achievements, and growth the college has experienced in the last ten years since my graduation.

To deem the actions taken by one person as a reflection on the college as a whole, would be a severe injustice to alumni like myself, current and future students, and every Flagler employee. In addition to creating an academic environment that promotes growth and success, Flagler also requires the utmost ethical behavior from students and faculty.  We cannot let one person damper that reputation. Further, while those improper actions impact post-admission reporting — it doesn't change the academic standards these students face while enrolled. These academic standards are what make a Flagler education a Flagler education.

I commend President Abare for taking swift and immediate action to rectify this situation - including firing of the responsible individual, requesting an independent investigation, and self-reporting the incident to numerous organizations and agencies.  In my opinion, President Abare's actions reaffirm Flagler College's commitment to upholding academic and ethical behavior.

To say I am disappointed by the employee's actions would be an understatement. But today I stand proud to call myself a Flagler alumna.  Flagler College taught me the importance of academic and ethical integrity; Dr. Abare and Flagler are now leading by example through their actions to transparently and publicly report this incident and ensure it never happens again.

If you would like additional comments or information, please email me (it is easier than phone).

Thank you,

Jessica Talbert

Bill Hughes

Let me make this very clear, Flagler College is MORE than an accreditation.  It is MORE than a GPA or class ranking of a freshman class. Flagler College is MORE than a ranking by US News and World Report or a Princeton Review. This is nothing more than data and a piece of paper. 

Flagler College is a HOME, a COMMUNITY, and a FAMILY to the students and parents that buy into the culture of excellence the College represents. Flagler College is a safe place that allows students the opportunity to grow as young men and women capable of taking on the world, enhancing their communities, and making a difference in others lives, not the least their own. Flagler College is an institution of higher learning in preparation for the REAL MAJOR … LIFE 101! 

Flagler College is going nowhere.  It will remain the centerpiece of a community and county. It will remain a place where memories are made each and every day. It will remain a place where lives are shaped, passions are developed, and career paths are created.  Flagler College is more important that all the accreditations and ranking's all rolled into one.

Every person alive and every business organization or corporation in existence faces adversity along the way. I am sure there have been many sleepless nights among the College's leaders as a result of one person’s indiscretions. Let me comfort each of them by saying, "NEVER look in the rear-view mirror, be PROUD of what you have created and accomplished and STAND TALL in the face of this adversity."  Knowing President Abare as I do, mark my words that this will end up being a positive defining moment in the history of the College.

I believe in Flagler College!  I believe is Bill Abare and the BOT.  I believe in the administration and staff.  I believe in the future of this institution more now than ever.  And the best part of it Beverly … those that really care and love Flagler College, believe exactly the same!


Bill Hughes, MPGA
General Manager
TPC Sawgrass

Victor J. Raymos

Dear Dr. Abare,

On behalf of the St. Augustine & St. Johns County Board of REALTORS® and Multiple Listing Service, I want you to know that we are in complete support of you and Flagler College as you work through the difficulty associated with the enrollment statistics issue.  These are challenges that most college presidents hope they never have to face.

We have the upmost confidence that the leadership you have provided, over the years, is best suited for a successful resolution.

Thank you for the service you have provided to Flagler College, students, alumni and the people of St. Augustine.

Victor J. Raymos, RCE, CRS, ABR
AE-CEO St. Augustine & St Johns County Board of REALTORS

Joe Riley

Dr. Abare,

Firstoff, I want to thank you for all of the support and dedication you have shown the Flagler College family.  Under your leadership the college has grown from 1,100 students (my freshman year) to 2,500+ students and the facilities on and off campus take my breath away with each visit.

I canonly imagine the stress and turmoil you have experienced in regards to the misrepresented data from the admissions office.  From the eyes of an alum, a donor, a former athlete, former employee, and a proud member of the Flagler family, this incident has not and will not sway my gracious feelings for Flagler College.  Flagler College gave me the most amazing college experience I could have imagined. This little speed bump will not affect our loyal support to Flagler College and, if anything, has brought us all closer together.

I do not want to take too much of your time but I would like to quote a few lines from the press release your office recently sent out:

Flagler College has a proud history of providing an outstanding academic experience for students.  We have a strong commitment to teaching and student learning at the undergraduate level.  Members of our faculty are engaged in scholarship and research and have published countless articles and books, have presented papers at conferences of learned societies, and have contributed in numerous ways to the advancement of knowledge in their fields of study.  Our students flourish under the mentorship of professors and staff who care for students, inspire them to learn, and push them to reach beyond what they perceive as their limits.

These few sentences sum it all up for me. Your Flagler College family is here and we are here to stay. It is not the rating of how affordable our school is or that we were ranked above another school in value. It’s the professors, the staff, the awesome students, the alums, and that amazing feeling of pride I get when I see another Flagler College license plate! That’s what Flagler College is all about and that is why I will ALWAYS be a supporter of my college.

Thank you again for everything you have done, we really could not have done it with your support and guidance.

Best regards,

Joe Riley ’06

Rob Rouse

I just wanted to commend you and the administration for how you've handled this situation.

I've worked on Wall Street for over 20 years and have seen countless companies in crisis. Having worked for Lehman Brothers I've also been on the inside of an organization facing a host of challenges.

If I may, there are a number of things that Flagler has done in the past few weeks since this news broke that speak to the quality of the institution — the transparency, frequency of communication, decisiveness, and follow-up are exactly the type of management action that inspire confidence of not only external constituents, but equally importantly all of the faculty, staff, and student body internally.

It's only the view if one person, but I feel that it needed to be said and that you all should take some pride in this. Please pass along my regards to Dr. Abare and the rest of the team involved.

Rob Rouse, '91

Jovan Mrvos

As a proud alum of Flagler (Class of 1996) I am of two minds regarding "The Misreported Data." I am, of course, disappointed to see the school's reputation besmirched by the actions of someone in a position of authority who was acting grossly out of misguided intent. I am, equally, proud of the manner in which the school's administrators have responded to a potentially crippling event.

I may not be an active alum but I am (again) a very proud one. The education that I received at Flagler is in my estimation a first rate one that I cherish daily and in the almost twenty years since I have graduated, I still have the fondest memories of men and women who impacted not only my intellectual being but my moral and ethical bearings. I continually quote Dr. Dillon and Dr. Horner to my high school Senior English students.

To Dr. Abare, I pass along my most profound admiration for the grace and integrity in which he has addressed this deeply disturbing issue and my sincere appreciation to the College in reaching out to former students to keep us informed.

Sincere regards,

Jovan V. Mrvos
Class of 1996 Cum Laude